War Eagles to visit No. 1 Scotland County

Published 9:47 am Thursday, November 12, 2015

Now that Davie’s football team has scratched and clawed its way to the postseason, a monumental challenge awaits it in the first round of the 4A playoffs: unbeaten Scotland County.

The War Eagles visit the Fighting Scots Friday at 7:30 in Laurinburg.

In the 4A West Regional, Davie is seeded 15th with a 5-6 record and Scotland is seeded second at 11-0. The winners gets either No. 7 North Davidson (10-1) or No. 10 Southeast Guilford (8-3).

Scotland is scary. It is ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll, and it has outscored opponents by an average score of 40-17. On average, Davie has been outscored 33-30.

It’s nothing new for the Scots to be a vaunted team. They are 65-5 over five years, going 15-0 in 2011, 12-2 in 2012, 15-1 in 2013 and 12-2 in 2014. They won the 4A championship in ‘11 and finished runner-up to Dudley in ‘13.

Richard Bailey is 50-5 as Scotland’s fourth-year coach. He’s been one of the big names in the state for a while. When Davie was 14-0 in 2004, Bailey’s Jack Britt club upset Cooter Arnold and the War Eagles in the semifinals.

When Scotland and Richmond County met last week in one of the state’s biggest rivalries, Scotland captured the conference title with a 28-21 win. The Scots held on after taking a 21-0 halftime lead and pushing it to 28-0 in the third quarter. Richmond came storming back, cutting it to 28-21 and recovering an onside kick with two minutes left. Richmond reached the red zone with 30 seconds to go, but linebacker Jonathan Smith’s interception sealed Scotland’s fifth straight conference title and fifth straight win in the series.

Scotland is certainly a heavy favorite over Davie. Richmond County handed Dudley its only loss, 14-12, and Dudley whipped Davie 56-14.

Scotland has an extraordinary running back in sophomore Zamir White. After he rushed for 1,231 yards, scored 18 TDs and averaged 7.9 yards per carry as a freshman, he received scholarship offers from Georgia, N.C. State and North Carolina. Through 10 games this year, White had 216 carries for 1,833 yards and 36 TDs. He was averaging 183 yards per game and 8.5 per carry.

“He’s a sophomore who is ranked the No. 2 recruit in the country in the Class of 2018,” Davie coach Devore Holman said. “He’s a very powerful and very fast runner. He has great size on him (at 6-1, 205).

“They have two quarterbacks, but No. 4 (senior Dashaun Ferguson) is special, too. And they’re huge up front (on the OL). I put them in the mold of the Independence teams we played (in 2005-06).”

It sounds like a challenge similar to when Davie visited Dudley on Sept. 4. But “at this point in time, I think we’re a better team than we were when we played Dudley,” Holman said. “We have played those type of teams, so that’s what we’ve got to get ready for.”

This will be the second Davie-Scotland meeting. The first one was one for the books. In the second round in ‘05, Davie linebacker Brock Flowers intercepted a pass at the Davie 29 with 1:13 remaining to seal a 22-17 home win and send Davie to the quarterfinals for the fourth straight year.