RAEFORD — There are still two undefeated teams in the Southeastern Conference and two with one loss after Week 4 of the season.
Hoke County used another strong outing by senior running back Detrez Newsome to cruise past Sanderson to improve to 4-0. Richmond Senior, which downed South View, is the other unbeaten squad in the SEC.
Scotland (3-1) won for the first time at Jack Britt in coach Richard Bailey’s return to the Boneyard after 12 years of guiding the Buccaneers. Lumberton also improved to 3-1 following its 42-26 win over Seventy-First.
Pinecrest blew a 13-point lead in a loss to Reagan to fall to 2-2, while Purnell Swett was routed by New Hanover to drop to 1-3 on the year.
Hoke County at Cape Fear
Coaches: Milton Butts, Hoke County. Bryan Till, Cape Fear
Records: Hoke County 4-0. Cape Fear 0-4.
Last game: It is hard to keep coming up adjectives to describe the season Detrez Newsome is having for Hoke County. The senior running back had more than 300 all-purpose yards to lead the Bucks to a 49-7 win over Sanderson. Newsome had 2-, 3-, 65- and 72-yard scoring runs in the contest and added a 65-yard punt return in the second quarter. Cape Fear remained winless after falling in a shootout with county rival Gray’s Creek 62-31. Quarterback Spencer Faircloth had 306 passing yards and Cole Humphrey snagged 14 receptions for 123 yards.
Key matchup: Detrez Newsome vs. Cape Fear’s defense. Newsome is a workhorse for Hoke County and continues to carry his team to victory week-in and week-out. The Bucks are scoring 40 points a game and Newsome has accounted for the majority of those points. The only drawback to Hoke County’s start is the strength of the opposition, which is a combined 2-18. The Colts are struggling on both sides of the ball, especially defensively. Cape Fear is giving up an average of 32.8 points a game and after scoring just 25 points in three games, it exploded for a season-high 31 in its latest loss.
Scotland at Anson
Coaches: Richard Bailey, Scotland. Luke Hyatt, Anson.
Records: Scotland 3-1. Anson 1-3.
Last game: Jaylend Ratliffe and TraShawn Gregory made sure Richard Bailey’s return to Jack Britt was a victorious one. Ratliffe went 13-for-15 for 167 yards, while Gregory reeled in three touchdowns as the Fighting Scots zipped past the Buccaneers 32-6. Anson finally got on the right side of the scoreboard with a 34-27 victory over Chesterfield (S.C.). The Bearcats had lost their first two games by a combined 13 points before it was shutout by Richmond 58-0 in Week 3.
Key matchup: Scotland letdown vs. Anson. Scotland coach Richard Bailey knows his current team wanted to give him a present by knocking off his former squad. The Fighting Scots played nearly flawless football in beating Jack Britt. The big question heading into Week 5 for Scotland is will Bailey’s young team build on the momentum it created with its win over the Buccaneers or will it revert to how it played against New Hanover. Even though Anson is 1-3 on the season, it has enough playmakers and a style of play which could keep the game close.
Athens Drive at Lumberton
Coaches: Chris Martin, Athens Drive. Mike Brill, Lumberton.
Records: Athens Drive 3-1. Lumberton 3-1.
Last game: Athens Drive scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to rally for a 24-20 victory over Green Hope. Running back Dominique Lynch had 116 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries for the Jaguars. Quarterback Jason West was 12-for-18 for 129 yards and a touchdown in the win. Lumberton’s Daniel Robinson rushed for a career-high 243 yards and four touchdowns to help his team to a 42-26 win over Seventy-First.
Key matchup: Athens Drive’s offense vs. Lumberton’s offense. Athens Drive has a strong defense, giving up an average of 11 points in its three wins. The team’s only bad game was against No. 6 Garner when it lost 42-7. Lumberton is usually one of the best defenses statistically in the SEC, but a rash of injuries has slowed the Pirates this season. The Jaguars are a little more varied on offense than Lumberton, but neither team will be confused with the St. Louis Rams and its “Greatest Show on Turf” squads. This game may come down to the first squad to put 21 points on the scoreboard.
Pinecrest at Western Harnett
Coaches: Chris Metzger, Pinecrest. Larry Brock, Western Harnett.
Records: Pinecrest 2-2. Western Harnett 1-3.
Last game: Pinecrest watched a 13-point advantage vanish as Reagan scored the game’s final 21 points to pull away for a 28-20 victory. Kicker Jackson Maples booted a 60-yard field goal, which is the second-longest kick in state high school history, in the contest for the Patriots. Maples had a go-ahead 43-yard attempt blocked by Reagan and returned for a touchdown to seal the victory. After opening the season with a win at South Robeson, Western Harnett dropped its third straight game in a 49-30 loss to Triton.
Key matchup: Pinecrest consistency vs. Western Harnett. Pinecrest coach Chris Metzger knows his team should be 3-1 going into its Week 5 matchup with Western Harnett. Instead the Patriots are looking to avoid falling below the .500 mark. Pinecrest had a few bright spots on offense as Dwayne Simpson rushed for 155 yards on 20 carries, the third time this season he was able hit triple digits. Jackson Maples showed off his leg, booting 60- and 44-yard field goals in the loss. Pinecrest needs play a full 48-minute contest because Western Harnett lost to fellow SEC member Purnell Swett 21-7 earlier this season.
South Robeson at Purnell Swett
Coaches: Stephen Roberson, South Robeson. Mark Heil, Purnell Swett.
Records: South Robeson 2-2. Purnell Swett 1-3.
Last game: South Robeson had its two-game winning streak snapped in a 30-24 loss to Southern Lee. The Mustangs and the Cavaliers were scoreless in the first half before exploding for 54 points in the final 24 minutes. Purnell Swett watched as Trevon Brown made several highlight reel worthy plays in scoring six touchdowns to lead New Hanover to a 56-19 victory. Brown got things rolling with a 90-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff and the Wildcats cruised from there.
Key matchup: Purnell Swett’s confidence vs. South Robeson. Purnell Swett should pick up its second win of the season against its 1A county rival. However, the way the Rams’ defense has been playing — allowing just under 34 points — a victory is not a given. Offensively, Purnell Swett coach Mark Heil has found a steady running back in Andrew Hill and a capable quarterback in Jeremiah Swett but needs to find more weapons to lessen Hill’s load.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org