Home Local Sports Red Rams Football Ends Season Just Short of SEC Title; Finish 5-2

Red Rams Football Ends Season Just Short of SEC Title; Finish 5-2

Jutavious McKayhan (5) pulls away from Hamlet's Chandler Orr (21) on a 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Photo courtesy of Deon Cranford.

LAURINBURG – When the Richmond Raider varsity football team travelled to Scotland High School’s Pate Stadium on November 3, Richmond Senior High School soccer coach Bennie Howard asked fans sitting around him if anyone could remember going to a Richmond vs Scotland game wearing shorts. 

Those who attended Wednesday night’s middle school conference championship game at Pate Stadium between Richmond County’s Hamlet Middle School and Scotland County’s Carver Middle School would have loved to have some of that warmer weather back.

Despite the frigid 40-degree temperature, the Carver Eagles remained hot, easily soaring to a Southeastern Conference title with a 46-0 victory over the visiting Red Rams.

Hamlet’s Jaleak Gates (12) attempts to tries to get by Carver’s Jutavious McKayhan (5) in the 2nd quarter.

Carver won the coin toss and chose to receive.  It took the Eagles only 4 plays to go 60 yards; a drive that was capped by a 34-yard touchdown pass from Parker Byrd to Isaac Ferguson.  The two-point conversion attempt was no good, and the Eagles led 6-0 less than two minutes into the game.

On the ensuing kickoff, Hamlet’s Chandler Orr hauled in the pooch kick at the Red Ram 39-yard line.  On their first play from scrimmage, Ke’sean Ingram handed the ball off to Jamari Broady, who found a hole to his left and pushed forward for a 5-yard gain.  Travean Short followed with an 8-yard run giving the Red Rams a first down. 

And that’s when the stingy Carver defense got fired up.  Hamlet’s opening drive ended on the next play when a bad snap led to a fumble recovery for Carver’s Michael Locklear.

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From that point on, the Eagle defense held the Red Ram offense to negative 26 yards and only allowed four plays to net positive yardage.

Hamlet’s Ke’sean Ingram (8) trying to elude Carver defenders.

Carver took advantage of great field position set up by five Hamlet turnovers and a blocked punt.  Seven of the Eagles’ eight possessions in the game started on the Red Rams’ side of the field with three of those possessions starting inside the Hamlet 20.  They scored six touchdowns on scoring drives of 60, 10, 17, 16, 41, and 33 yards.  Unofficially, the Eagles ended the night with 185 offensive yards.

Hamlet’s Jaleak Gates and Ahmad Shelton accounted for some of the brighter moments for the Red Rams defense.  Gates ended a Carver drive in the first quarter when he picked off a Byrd pass at the Hamlet 1-yard line and returned it 26 yards.  Shelton recorded a pair of sacks, including one just before halftime. 

With just 56 seconds remaining in the first half, the Eagles attempted to pick up a first down on fourth-and-6 just inside the Hamlet red zone.  Shelton burst through the line and brought down Byrd to end the Eagle threat.

The Red Rams ended the season 5-2, with the Eagles delivering both of their losses.  Despite coming up short, it was a much improved season for Hamlet which included a big 36-12 victory over rival Rockingham last week. 

Hamlet’s Taveon Short (2) looking for some running room.

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