LUMBERTON — The East Bladen Eagles owned the clock, but the Scotland Fighting Scots owned the scoreboard on Wednesday in the second annual Battle of the Carolinas Football Jamboree at Lumberton High School.
“We moved the ball pretty well, especially early,” said East Bladen coach Robby Priest. “But those guys (Scotland) are good and deep. I think they had more coaches than we had players — if I counted right.”
The Fighting Scots, a perennial Class 4-A powerhouse, scored on four of their five possessions and sent the Eagles home with a 28-0 loss.
East Bladen opened the contest by putting together a 26-yard drive in eight plays to the Scotland 46, with Eian Hines gaining 9 yards on one run and Ethan Hines picking up 14 on another run. But a Quinton Bedsole pass was intercepted and returned 61 yards to the Eagles’ 4. Ethan Hines saved the touchdown by hustling back to make the tackle.
Scotland, however, needed just two plays to punch the ball in for a 7-0 lead. The Fighting Scots’ premiere running back, Zamir White ran 3 yards for the score.
East Bladen, starting again from its own 30, got 7 yards from Bernard Robinson and, after two runs netted just 3 yards, Ethan Hines broke one for 15 yards to the Scotland 44. But three plays and a penalty kept East Bladen in about the same spot and, on fourth down, Bedsole was sacked for an 11-yard loss.
The Fighting Scots again needed just two plays to score. After a 10-yard run, White ran the ball 35 yards for his second touchdown — and went to the bench for the night with Scotland up 14-0.
The Eagles went nowhere on their third possession and punted to the Scotland 33, and after a 10-yard run and two penalties against the Scots, three pass plays covered the remaining 72 yards — the last one coming with 1 second left in the half from 25 yards out— to give Scotland a 21-0 lead.
Scotland opened the second half like it started the game, with two runs that moved the ball 24 yards and a pass that covered 46 yards to the end zone, giving the Fighting Scots a 28-0 lead.
East Bladen couldn’t move anywhere on its first possession of the second half and punted to the Scotland 38.
The Fighting Scots ran 10 plays and moved the ball to the East Bladen 16, but two penalties and a pass that lost 3 yards fizzled the drive to give the Eagles their lone stop against the Scots.
“It’s tough to gauge our defense against a team like this,” said East Bladen defensive coordinator Mark Little. “We’ll get some positives out of this, but really we just want to come out healthy.”
East Bladen, starting from its own 30 once again, got a 10-yard run by Robinson called back on a penalty, but he came back with a 5-yard run followed by a 9-yard run by Ethan Hines. After off-setting 5-yard penalties, East Bladen finished the game with an incomplete pass, an 8-yard run by Ethan Hines and a 1-yard run by Eian Hines.
“I think we got a little tired toward the end,” said Priest, whose Eagles are now 0-2 in the Battle of the Carolinas. “But we can watch tape now and learn. Overall I’m pleased with how we looked.”
For the game, Ethan Hines led the Eagles’ ground game with 48 yards on six carries. Robinson added 25 yards on eight carries and James Higgins had 11 yards on four carries. Through the air, Bedsole was 0-for-5 with an interception.
The Eagles will host the first East Bladen Jamboree at Lenon Fisher Stadium on Friday starting at 6 p.m. with West Bladen, West Columbus and South Robeson.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.