Scotland County High star quarterback seriously injured in ATV crash

As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, a family friend of Jaylend Ratliffe tells WPDE that his situation remains unchanged after taking a turn for the worse Wednesday night.

The Scotland High School quarterback, who was in an ATV accident Tuesday, is still in intensive care and in critical condition and was been put back on a ventilator Wednesday night.

The family friend says Ratliffe has fluid building on his brain, and doctors are working to correct that.

Earlier Wednesday, Ratliffe was in stable but critical condition, according to Scotland Football Coach Richard Bailey.

He told us Ratliffe had some brain swelling and a skull fracture.

At that time, Bailey, who is with the Ratliffe family at a Charlotte hospital, said there were signs that his condition was improving.

"He is still in serious condition. He hasn't gotten any worse. There's some signs of improvement. I think there is some positive. We're cautiously optimistic but he's got a long road ahead of him. He's not out of the woods. It's in the Lord's hands," Bailey said.

Ratliffe and another member of the football team were injured in an ATV accident in a wooded area off of Maston Road and Ciff Gibson Road in the Laurel Hill Community, which is about 15 miles outside of Laurinburg Tuesday night.

The other football team member had minor leg injuries and was treated at a hospital and released.

Darwin Williams, the Laurinburg Police Chief and family friend of the Ratliffe's, said this is accident "bigger than football" for the town.

"Jaylend is a wonderful person. This is bigger than football. It's not about football," he said. "We're going to pray that everything works out for him. This kid's loved by everybody in this community."

Williams also said the teen is "a fighter. If anyone can recover from this type of injury, he can."

Ratliffe is going to be a senior next school year, and the quarterback made a commitment to Georgia Tech in May.

He was the 2013 WPDE NewsChannel 15 North Carolina Player of the Year.

Ratliffe has been 28-3 as a starter for the Fighting Scots.

The 6'2" 200 pound Ratliffe led Scotland County to a 15-1 record last season with their only loss in the North Carolina 4-A state championship game.

Ratliffe is a highly prized dual threat quarterback. During his junior season, he rushed for 2,053 yards and 36 touchdowns. He threw for 1,756 yards and 16 touchdowns with only two interceptions.