While JH Rose’s football team never really lost control of the game, Scotland lost control of themselves.
The Rampants played a few key games and a slew of Scottish penalties to overtake the Scots, 49-28, on Friday night in an NCHSAA Class 3A fourth round soccer game at the Minges-Farley sports complex.
Rose (10-4), seeded No. 6 in the East, qualifies to face Jacksonville, the conference enemy Big Carolina 3-A. The Cardinals outscored Eastern Alamance, 27-21, in overtime at Mebane to set up the East 3A final showdown at Greenville.
Scotland’s penchant for penalties – they’ve been flagged 12 times for 86 yards – cost the Fighting Scots any chance to get back into the game. With Rose leading 28-21 with three minutes left in the third quarter and facing the fourth and third at Rose 42, Scotland jumped offside, giving the Rampants a first try.
âYou have to do the little things right,â Rose coach Will Bland said. âYou can’t fall apart. You have to trust the coaches. We sent the punt team and they were crazy about it, but we had a big break and we took advantage.
After another offside penalty against Scotland, Michael Allen snatched a 21-yard run for Rose, followed by a 28-yard strike from quarterback Will Taylor to Jayden Grimes to put the Rampants back safely ahead of 35- 21.
The teams traded touchdowns on their next possessions, then the Rampants held on and forced the ball downs as Scotsman Cadyn Graves had a first try from quarterback Carter Revelle dropped by the Rampants secondary.
Rose put the game aside. A 15-yard face-mask penalty against the Scots was added to Allen’s five-yard run. Another 21-yard flurry from Allen was complemented by an unsportsmanlike penalty. And after Klavon Brown plunged three feet into the end zone to complete the scoring, the Rampants followed the Scotland 45 kick off with another Fighting Scots penalty.
Scotland, the number 23 seed, ended their season 8-5.
One of Rose’s first defensive headaches was the Scottish running back. RJ Nicholson. Of the Scots’ two first-half scoring drives, he ran the ball in 11 of 12 games and tallied 194 yards and two touchdowns in 21 first-half carries.
âHe’s had 1,600 yards (this season),â Bland said of Nicholson. âWe knew he was a big murderer. We knew they wanted to run. But we knew that if we kept hitting him and hitting him, he would end up giving a bit.
Nicholson still managed to finish with 255 yards and three rushing touchdowns in 34 carries.
âIn the fourth quarter you saw how he came out a couple of times,â Bland said. âI am extremely proud of the way the defense did and continued to fight. “
The Rampants’ offense continued to fight, overcoming three turnovers in the first half. But Scotland had three to match, including an interception by Revelle that Jahquarious Brown returned 25 yards for a touchdown. Brown also took out Revelle and Ty’queron Hines was intercepted in a mock punt attempt from Scotland.
Taylor had 14 assists on 26 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted twice by Scotland’s Jahari Brown. Allen was a powerful double threat, rushing for 132 and two touchdowns in 18 carries and added four receptions and one more score – on a 24-yard pass on the fourth and 9 – reception.
The Rampants defeated Jacksonville (11-2) 28-21 on September 28.
âIt’s going to be a big game next week,â said Bland. âWe know them. They know us. I think everyone will be well prepared for each other.