RAEFORD — Two teams remained undefeated on the season through the first Southeastern Conference Friday night.
Lumberton needed more last minute heroics to fight off Pinecrest’s upset bid at home, while Scotland County scored 13 points in the game’s final minutes to stop Purnell Swett.
Joining Lumberton and Scotland County atop the SEC standings is a surprise name — Hoke County. The Bucks defeated the Richmond Raiders for the first time in 35 games. Hoke County stretched its winning streak to five games, the lone loss was in Week 2 against South View, when running back Detrez Newsome was less than 100 percent.
Lumberton at Hoke County
Coaches: Mike Brill, Lumberton. Milton Butts, Hoke County.
Records: Lumberton 6-0, 1-0. Hoke County 6-1, 1-0.
Last game: Lumberton took advantage of two first-quarter Pinecrest fumbles to build a 14-point lead, then intercepted a desperation heave in the end zone in the waning moments of the game to remain undefeated. The Pirates continued to struggle on offense, managing just 94 yards in the contest and had just five first downs. Hoke County pulled off what could be the biggest win in school history when it downed Richmond Senior, 24-21. David Walrath rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown. He also threw for 106 yards and connected with Jammy Nickleson for the game-winning score with 7:06 left in the contest.
Key matchup: Lumberton’s “trap game” vs. Hoke County’s “last game.” Despite being undefeated heading into their game with the Bucks, the Pirates could easily overlook this contest and focus on their next opponent — Richmond Senior. Lumberton has not defeated Richmond since 1986, when the Pirates knocked off the Raiders, 21-6. While the Pirates’ defense has carried the team through the first six games, the unit could be showing signs of wear. Pinecrest finished with 261 yards of total offense. Just like Lumberton, Hoke County could have Richmond Senior on their mind. After defeating the Raiders for the first time in 35 tries, the Bucks could continue to recall the previous Friday’s events. Hoke County kept the ball away from Richmond’s high-powered offense. The Bucks will have to match that success against the SEC’s best defense.
Pinecrest at Scotland County
Coaches: Chris Metzger, Pinecrest. Chip Williams, Scotland County.
Records: Pinecrest 3-4, 0-1. Scotland County 6-0, 1-0.
Last game: Pinecrest did everything it could to upset Lumberton, outgained the Pirates and kept them off the scoreboard in the final three quarters. However, the Patriots fumbled the ball away on their first two possessions deep in their own territory. The Pirates took advantage of the miscues to slip away with a 14-10 victory. Scotland County scored 13 points in the game’s final five minutes to pull away from Purnell Swett, 42-26. Kwashaun Quick rushed for 138 yards and tossed two touchdowns in the victory.
Key matchup: Pinecrest’s defense vs. Scotland County’s offense. The Patriots are surrendering 22.4 points per game, but the defense played well against Lumberton, allowing two first-quarter touchdown drives totaling less than 30 yards. After Lumberton’s early scores, Pinecrest answered the call and limited the Pirates to 94 yards of total offense and five first downs in the loss. In order to upset the Fighting Scots, the Patriots will need to continue to be stingy on defense. Scotland County may have needed 43 minutes to get its offense to heat up, but once it did it was on fire. The Fighting Scots scored two touchdowns in the final five minutes. Kwashaun Quick continues to make his case to be the Southeastern Conference’s offensive player of the year. Quick rushed for 138 yards and threw for two scores against Purnell Swett. Quick is not the only weapon for the Fighting Scots, Caison Murphy scored three times against the Rams, while Tony McRae added a touchdown run.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com