SOUTHERN PINES — In a battle for third place in the Southeastern Conference, Hoke County and Detrez Newsome stood tall in the end.
Newsome rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries to lift the Bucks to a 35-7 victory over Pinecrest.
Hoke (9-2, 3-2) scored first when Jamal Harris returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. Despite limiting Pinecrest to three first downs in the opening 24 minutes, the Bucks only led 14-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Hoke scored on three straight possessions — all touchdown runs by Newsome. The senior running back rushed into the end zone from 71, 20 and 1 yard out.
The Patriots lost quarterback Dwayne Simpson to an abdominal injury on their second possession of the game.
“When they returned the kick, and then Dwayne went down, the morale went down,” Pinecrest coach Chris Metzger said to The Pilot. “That’s on us and we’ve got to do better job of lifting the kids up and having a contingency plan B.”
Hoke and Pinecrest (5-6, 2-3) will battle each other again this week in the opening round of the state 4AA playoffs, this time in Raeford. The Bucks grabbed the third seed in the Mideast pod, while the Patriots are the No. 6 seed.
LUMBERTON 42, PURNELL SWETT 18
LUMBERTON — In a must-win game for Lumberton to keep its playoffs hopes alive, Daniel Robinson and Ahmad Smith stepped to the forefront.
Each rushed for 147 yards to lead the Pirates to a 42-18 victory over their in-county rival Purnell Swett. Robinson ran for three scores, while Smith added two of his own.
Bryan Carpenter capped the win for the Pirates with a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown. The victory snapped Lumberton’s three-game losing skid to Purnell Swett.
“It’s nice, you always like to beat your rivals,” Lumberton coach Mike Brill said to The Robesonian. “The kids played great, followed the game plan exactly, so I’m proud of them. It feels good.”
Brill’s final season on the Pirates’ sideline is extended by at least one game as Lumberton will travel to face Jack Britt in the first round of the state 4AA playoffs. The Buccaneers earned the No. 2 seed in the Mideast pod, while the Pirates snagged the seventh seed. The game will be a rematch from Week 2, when Jack Britt blanked Lumberton 27-0.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.