It seems like Robert Valdez has adjusted pretty well to his new job at Scotlandville.
Valdez, who is two games into his first season as the Hornets football coach, rode a dominant overall performance from his team for a convincing 41-12 win on the road against St. Augustine in a nondistrict game at Tad Gormley Stadium on Saturday night.
Scotlandville has outscored its first two foes 85-12.
“The guys have bought into what we’re trying to do, there’s no doubt about that,” Valdez said. “The coaches have done a great job of helping me send the message, and we’re just coming out and having fun.”
Scotlandville wide receiver Chris Johnson wasted no time helping the Hornets take control. The senior returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, and followed that by capping a seven-play, 80-yard drive on the team’s next possession with a 9-yard touchdown grab to give Scotlandville (2-0) a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Hornets failed to convert a fourth down deep in St. Aug territory on their third possession, but three plays later Purple Knights quarterback Justice McCoy had a deflected pass fall into the hands of Scotlandville defensive back Kelvin Joseph, who returned the interception 16 yards for a touchdown.
After forcing St. Aug (0-2) into punting on the next possession, Scotlandville marched 74 yards in 10 plays. Running back Reggie Cleveland capped the drive by running over several Purple Knights defenders for a 1-yard touchdown to give the Hornets a 27-0 lead going into halftime.
“I haven’t returned a kick since my freshman year, and I’m coming off an ACL injury, so it was a great feeling,” Johnson said. “We know going up against a program like St. Aug that they have a great tradition and a lot of exposure, so this was big for us to play against them the way we did.”
Scotlandville running back Trenton Charles added touchdown runs of 3 and 10 yards to further ice things for the Hornets. Charles finished the game with 21 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Hornets quarterback Levi Lewis completed 10 of 17 passes for 159 yards with a touchdown and added 12 carries for 146 yards. Johnson finished with three catches for 37 yards and a touchdown to go along with his kickoff return.
“We’re playing in a new system this year, and we’re just focusing on playing faster and playing more wide open,” Charles said.
The Purple Knights added two scores in the second half on a 32-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Takulve Williams and a 92-yard kickoff return by Darrell Landry — his second in as many weeks — but St. Aug never truly threatened.
St. Aug coach Al Jones, who is still searching for his first win with the team after taking over the job in February, said the most important thing going forward is that his team needs to “stop beating ourselves.”
“We come out in these games and make mistakes that put us in a hole too early,” he said. “We need to give 100 percent on every play and in every practice, and until we get that it’s going to be like this for a while. But we’ll get it together.”