ROCKINGHAM – In the last six seasons, Scotland High School’s varsity football program has managed to do something that no other school has been able to match in the last 46 years – they have defeated the Richmond Raiders six consecutive times. That accomplishment is just one of the many elements that has molded this annual meeting of neighbors into North Carolina’s biggest high school football rivalry.
Since 1972, Richmond and Scotland have competed as conference opponents in all but four seasons (1981-1984). Richmond has won 22 conference titles outright, and has earned a share of six others. The Scots have taken seven titles outright and shared three with the Raiders.
This means that either Richmond or Scotland has won or shared 35 of 41 conference titles while competing in the same conference. That trend continued this season following Scotland’s 63-14 drubbing of Lumberton last Friday, which secured the Scots at least a share of the inaugural Sandhills Athletic Conference title.
The Scots and Raiders have met in the final week of the regular season 18 times with eight of those occurring with the conference title on the line. The two schools were forced to continue their annual rivalry game outside of conference play four times between 1981 and 1984 when they participated in separate conferences.
In 1993 and 1994, the schools battled it out in both non-conference and conference play delivering twice the rivalry fun to Scotland and Richmond fans. Playing earlier in the season suited the Scots as they won four of the five non-conference meetings.
Postseason play has tilted in Richmond’s favor. The Raiders and Scots have clashed in the North Carolina 4A playoffs on three occasions with Richmond winning them all. Richmond defeated Scotland handedly when they crossed paths in the second round of both the 1997 and 1998 playoffs.
The 1978 semifinal game between the rivals delivered more excitement as the Raiders pulled out a narrow 9-7 victory which included a couple of controversial fourth quarter penalties that are still being debated to this day. Richmond went on to claim the state title in all three of those seasons.
Twenty two of the 50 contests have been decided by a touchdown or less with 10 of those games being won with a touchdown or field goal in the final 90 seconds of play.
Despite the fact that Richmond has a 35-14-1 series lead over Scotland, it is the Scots who have dominated the series lately. Not only have they won the last six in a row, but they have outscored Richmond 194-69 in that time. Scotland’s 49-14 victory in 2013 was their largest margin of victory over the Raiders and it was Richmond’s second largest margin of defeat to any opponent.
Last year’s 21-0 victory over the Raiders marked the Fighting Scots’ first ever shut out over Richmond. It was also the first time that the Raiders had been shut out by anyone since their 27-0 loss to Providence in the 2006 playoffs.
Regardless of their records and expected outcomes, memorable moments will occur any time these two teams meet. Here is a look back at some noteworthy moments in the series.
1972: Richmond 14, Scotland 7
In a great way to kick off the rivalry, Richmond and Scotland found themselves locked in a defensive battle that was not decided until the game’s final seconds. The two stingy defenses combined for six interceptions, two fumble recoveries, five red zone stops, and allowed only 318 total offensive yards.
Trailing 14-7 late in the 4th quarter, the Scots’ defense stopped the Raiders and gave their offense one final chance to score from their own 43-yard line with only 0:04 seconds remaining. Richmond’s Freddie Brown picked off Sidney Cameron’s Hail Mary pass as time expired to end the game. With the win, Richmond remained undefeated at 8-0 and clinched a playoff berth in their inaugural season.
1973: Richmond 20, Scotland 20
Even though Scotland didn’t defeat the Raiders in 1973, the Scots still managed to put the biggest blemish on Richmond’s storied tradition that season. Scotland came into the game 1-7 and were expected to lose handedly. Instead, the two rivals battled it out to a 20-20 tie. That tie, in a game that Richmond was expected to win, caused the Raiders to end the season with a 4-5-1 record. It is the only losing season in Richmond’s 46 years of existence.
1977: Richmond 9, Scotland 7
In another great defensive battle, the two teams combined for three interceptions, five fumble recoveries, and allowed only one offensive touchdown. With his team ahead 7-0 and just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, Scotland’s Dyke Anstead was forced to punt out of his own end zone. Richmond’s Jeff Holiday blocked the punt which was recovered by Billy Ray Little in the end zone for a touchdown. The Raiders attempted the 2-point conversion for the lead, but it failed and the Scots remained ahead 7-6.
The Raider defense came up big again when Tony Little recovered a Scotland fumble at the Scots’ 37-yard line. With the final minute ticking way, the Raider offense was able to set Frank Smith up with an opportunity to win. His 32-yard kick was true with only 22 seconds left in the ball game and the Raiders were victorious 9-7 despite a very lackluster offensive performance.
1978: Richmond 9, Scotland 7
Scotland Coach Mike Dubis voiced his frustrations with the officiating following the Scots’ 9-7 loss to Richmond in 1977. When the Scots fell to the Raiders by the same score in the 1978 4A semifinals, Dubis’ opinions of the officials from the previous year probably elevated substantially.
Late in the game, Scotland’s Wilbur Bullard returned a Raider punt to the 7-yard line and two plays later carried the ball into the end zone. The PAT put the Scots ahead 7-3 with only 5:17 remaining in the game. The Raider defense once again stopped the Scots giving the struggling Raider offense one last chance.
It looked to be all over with when Frank Smith’s pass was picked off by Scotland’s Kenny McDougald, but the Scots were flagged for a personal foul giving the Raiders new life. Then, when it looked like the Scots had stopped the Raiders again, Scotland was penalized for defensive holding and the Raiders were awarded another first down near mid field. Both calls are a hot topic between older Scotland and Richmond fans to this day. A few plays later, Richmond’s Chuck Bishop scored on an 11-yard run with just 25 seconds remaining. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good, but the Raiders held one for the 9-7 win.
The victory sent Richmond to their second state championship appearance in two years where they won their first state title against West Charlotte.
1980: Richmond 13, Scotland 10
For the second time in the history of the series, the game was tied when the clock hit zero. Instead of just splitting the contest like they did in 1973, the two rivals battled it out in overtime to break the 7-7 tie.
The Scots received the ball first in overtime, but the Raider defense held them out of the end zone forcing the Scots to settle for a Joel Massey field goal. Now trailing 10-7, the Raiders got their chance. On third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, quarterback Garry Bishop carried it in for the game winning score. The 13-10 victory was an important one for Richmond because it secured the Raiders a playoff berth.
1981: Scotland 21, Richmond 14
It was the 10th year of the annual rivalry game. With Richmond and Scotland placed into two different conferences for the first time, they were forced to play in early September. The Raiders looked as though they were going to run away with it taking a 14-0 early in the second quarter. Scotland did not let the lead phase them.
Scotland quarterback James White connected with Jerry Monroe for touchdown passes of 34 and 16 yards to tie it up before intermission. After a scoreless third, the Scots put together a 53-yard scoring drive aided by two pass interference calls against the Raiders to take the lead. The drive ended with a 6-yard touchdown run by James A. McLean with 5:06 remaining. The Raiders would reach the Scots’ red zone with just a little under two minutes remaining, but Scotland’s Rod Decker picked off a pass to secure Scotland’s first every victory over the Raiders.
1988: Richmond 25, Scotland 20
Richmond took a 19-0 lead midway through the third quarter, but the Scots did not give up. Scotland put together a 74-yard scoring drive in just four plays which ended with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Scott McLeod to Antoine Banks. The kick failed and the Raider lead was cut to 13. Not wanting to let the Scots get back into the game, Richmond put together another scoring drive of their own at the start of the fourth quarter which ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Heath Altman to Eric Thomas. The conversion attempt was no good, but the Raiders were now ahead 25-6. The relentless Scots would not go away and scored two more times in the game’s final minutes, but Scotland ran out of time and fell 25-20. The Scots’ (6-4) season ended that night. The Raiders went on to finish the season undefeated (15-0) winning their second 4A state title.
1992: Richmond 21, Scotland 14 (2OT)
At the end of regulation, the game was deadlocked at 14 all. This time it would take double overtime to decide a winner. After both teams each missed a field goal in the first overtime period, Richmond received the ball first in the 2nd session. Richmond’s Orrick McDougald carried the ball three straight times, scoring on the third attempt. With the PAT, Richmond was now up 21-14. Scotland’s possession ended when Megil McLean’s pass was intercepted by Richmond’s Woody Hawkins. The much needed victory earned the Raiders a berth in the state 4A playoffs.
1996: Richmond 17, Scotland 14
Richmond seemed to be in control at Raider Stadium taking a 14-0 advantage into the fourth quarter. Scotland quarterback Russ Adams was not going to concede so easily. Adams went to the air, picking apart the Raider defense before scoring himself on a 1-yard run midway through the final period. With the PAT, the Scots had cut Richmond’s lead in half.
Following a Raider turnover at their own 32-yard line, Adams went to work again. He connected with Jeff Ingram at Richmond’s 10-yard line, and three plays later found Michael Dudzinski in the end zone from 6-yards out. The Scots tied it up with a PAT with only 2:40 remaining. On the ensuing possession, the Raiders were able to move the ball into Scotland territory giving kicker Chad Suggs and chance to win it in regulation. Suggs’ 35-yard attempt was good with 5 seconds remaining securing the Raider victory.
2000: Richmond 21, Scotland 14
Trailing 13-7 midway through the fourth quarter, the Scots were gifted with good field position after taking over at their own 49-yard line. Scotland took advantage of the opportunity when RB Kenny Covington scored from 19 yards out on just the fifth play of the possession. The PAT was good and the Scots took their first lead of the game at 14-13.
The two teams would trade possessions once more before Richmond received one final chance at their own 28-yard line with just over two minutes remaining. After advancing the ball to the Raider 45-yard line, quarterback Brandon Davis hit a wide open Antonio Gould who sprinted untouched to the end zone. The two-point conversion put Richmond on top 21-14 with only 57 seconds left in the game. The Scots were unable to score in the final seconds.
2001: Richmond 20, Scotland 13
The Raiders and Scots moved into the Mid-Southeastern Conference, and the addition of the Fayetteville area schools generated more competition for first place. Richmond came into the game after falling 12-9 to Douglas Byrd a week earlier. It was their first conference loss in 7 seasons. That loss, coupled with the fact that Scotland had defeated Byrd to remain undefeated in conference play, led many to believe that the Scots just might end their losing streak to the Raiders.
That belief grew when Richmond quarterback Jamar Bryant did not return after the break due to a second quarter injury. With his team trailing 7-6, senior backup quarterback Charles Morman stepped in and led the offense on two scoring drives where he ran for one touchdown and passed for another. The Raiders went on to win 20-13.
2002: Richmond 21, Scotland 14
Any Raider fan in their mid-20s or older, and who are familiar with Dannell Ellerbe of the 2012 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, do not need any reminders of how this game ended. Down 14-0 in the fourth quarter at Raider Stadium, Richmond was looking for anything to build some momentum on. They got it from a punt block that was returned for a touchdown with just over eight and half minutes remaining. The PAT was missed and the home team still trailed 14-6.
Two possessions later, Raider Coach Ed Emory put in Ryan Baucom at quarterback and moved Jamar Bryant out to wide receiver. That decision paid off when Bryan hauled in a Baucom pass at the Scots’ 25-yard line, ricocheted off of a Scotland defender, and took it to pay dirt. The two-point conversion attempt was good and the game was knotted up at 14 with just over two minutes to play.
On their next possession, Baucom heaved one from near midfield towards the end zone as time was running out. Bryant jumped up between two Scotland defenders, tipped the ball up and then landed on his back just inside the 5-yard line. The ball came down right on top of him and he managed to keep it off of the ground setting up a first-and-goal from the four with just seconds remaining. On the next play, Baucom hit Bryant in the back corner of the end zone for the game’s final score ending the biggest come-from-behind win in the series.
2007: Richmond 30, Scotland 27 (OT)
It was exactly what the Scotland and Richmond fans had been waiting for. A battle of unbeatens. Both teams had made it to their meeting unscathed with matching 8-0 records.
The Raiders took the ball down the field on their first possession and Alex Ingram scored from 1 yard out. The PAT was no good and Richmond took an early 6-0 lead. That was pretty much it for the Raider offense. Richmond’s defense put points on the board courtesy of a 45-yard fumble return from Jeremy Harden and a 55-yard pick six from Sammy Houston.
When the Scotland offense wasn’t turning the ball over, they were able to add points to their side of the scoreboard in the form of a two-yard run from Demonte Terry, a touchdown pass from quarterback Walt Clark to Donte Prince, and a one-yard run by Clark. Two missed PAT attempts by the Raiders kept the Scots in the lead 20-19 with 4:58 remaining in the ballgame.
With only one timeout and the clock working against them, the Raiders were forced to attempt to convert a fourth down situation with about two and half minutes remaining. Richmond quarterback Derrick Wiley was sacked giving the Scots the ball back. All Scotland had to do was run the final 2:15 off of the clock.
On Scotland’s first play of the possession, Demonte Terry uncharacteristically fumbled the ball and Richmond’s Dominique Covington scooped it up and ran it back 70 yards for Richmond’s third defensive touchdown of the game. Raider quarterback Derrick Wiley tossed the ball to Lovell Joy for the two-point conversion and the Raiders found themselves on top 27-20 with 2:05 left.
Once again, the Scots orchestrated another scoring drive tying it up with just seconds remaining and the game went into overtime with the score knotted at 27.
Richmond got the ball first in overtime. Still having no success on offense, Richmond had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Chris Larsen to give the Raiders a three-point lead at 30-27. On the Scots’ second play of their overtime possession, the Raider defense came up big again. Alex Ingram dove in front of Clark’s pass picking it off and ending the game.
2011: Scotland 41, Richmond 7
Richmond’s 17-game winning streak over the Scots finally ended. The Scots scored on their first three possessions of the game and once more late in the second quarter to carry a 28-0 lead into the half. Scotland’s Tony McRae accounted for three of the first half touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving).
However, it was quarterback KwaShaun Quick that posted the game’s most amazing statistics. He accumulated 174 rushing yards on just eight carries (averaging 21 yards per carry) and passed for 170 more. Scotland seemed to call off the dogs after Caison Murphy’s pick-six put the Scots ahead 35-0 at the start of the second half. Scotland led 41-0 in the fourth quarter before the Raiders scored on Scotland’s back up players. Had the score remained 41-0, it would have been Richmond’s largest margin of defeat, ever.