SEC slate to begin tonight
by By Shawn Stinson
SOUTHERN PINES — It’s a fresh start for three Southeastern Conference football teams.
After posting a combined 3-15 mark during their nonconference schedule, Hoke County, Lumberton and Purnell Swett are optimistic the beginning of the five-week SEC slate will turn their seasons around.
The other three schools — Richmond, Pinecrest and Scotland — hope it is business as usual tonight and for the next five weeks on their march to the postseason.
In an interesting scheduling quirk, all three of the SEC’s top teams will be on road.
Pinecrest at Lumberton
Coaches: Chris Metzger, Pinecrest. Joe Salas, Lumberton.
Records: Pinecrest 6-0. Lumberton 0-6.
Last game: Pinecrest rolled past Jordan 55-7 win in Week 6. New Hanover slipped past Lumberton 26-14 also in Week 6.
Tidbits: Pinecrest is looking to open its Southeastern Conference schedule with a victory for the second time since the league was reformed in 2009. Last season, the Patriots blanked the Pirates 24-0 in Southern Pines. Lumberton is still searching for its first victory this year under Joe Salas. The Pirates, according to The Robesonian, may have their top playmaker, Josh Sheridan, back in the lineup tonight.
Scotland at Purnell Swett
Coaches: Richard Bailey, Scotland. Mark Heil, Purnell Swett.
Records: Scotland 6-0. Purnell Swett 2-4.
Last game: Scotland took down Goldsboro 35-14. Purnell Swett stopped North Brunswick 27-6 in Week 6.
Tidbits: It was a mixture of good and bad news for Scotland in its win over Goldsboro last week. The Fighting Scots welcomed running back Josh McPhatter back to the lineup after missing several games because of an ankle injury, but lost his backup, Tre Thomas, to a knee injury against the Cougars. Purnell Swett earned its second win of the year, but all of come against 2A competition. In fact, the Rams have not beaten a 4A team since the 2011 season, when they stopped in-county rival Lumberton in the regular-season finale.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.
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