LAURINBURG — Entering Week 10 of the high football season, there is only one king of the hill.
Scotland County is the lone unbeaten team remaining in the Southeastern Conference following its 47-0 rout of Hoke County at Pate Stadium. The Fighting Scots are now 8-0 on the season and 3-0 in the SEC.
Kwashaun Quick continued to show why he is the top candidate for SEC player of the year honors after a performance which included 236 yards of total offense and five touchdowns, in one half of work.
Running back Tony McRae also had a strong game against Hoke County. McRae rushed 11 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Scotland County is ranked fifth in the latest AP and Carolinapreps.com polls.
While the Fights Scots were able to keep its perfect year intact, Lumberton was handed its first loss of the season in a 27-22 slugfest with Richmond Senior. The Pirates trailed 20-15 late in the final quarter and was driving for the go-ahead touchdown, when quarterback Montrae Strothers’ pass to the end zone was intercepted. The Raiders iced the game with an 88-yard touchdown run two plays later.
Purnell Swett remained winless in the SEC following a last-minute 23-20 loss to Pinecrest.
Scotland County at Lumberton
Coaches: Chip Williams, Scotland County. Mike Brill, Lumberton
Records: Scotland County 8-0, 3-0. Lumberton 7-1, 2-1.
Last game: Scotland County blitzed Hoke County in the first half of its 47-0 victory. The Fighting Scots scored 44 points in the first 24 minutes of game to cruise past the Bucks. Kwashaun Quick accounted for 236 yards of total offense and five touchdowns for Scotland County. Tony McRae added 111 rushing yards and two scores. Hoke County was limited to 164 yards of offense. After receiving last-minute heroics in five of its seven wins this season, Lumberton didn’t have any magic left against Richmond. The Pirates had an interception deep in Richmond territory with 2:31 left in the game and were bounced from the ranks of the unbeaten, 27-22.
Key matchup: Scotland County’s “offensive show” vs. Lumberton’s “bounce back.” The Fighting Scots became the highest scoring offense in the SEC after its performance against Hoke County last week. Scotland County is now averaging 41.1 points a game, just edging Richmond Senior, which averages 40.8. Scotland County has scored fewer than 30 points twice all season, against Seventy-First and Jack Britt. Kwashaun Quick continues to state his case for SEC player of the year after accounting for five touchdowns against the Bucks. A win clinches at least a share of the SEC title for Scotland County. The Pirates had visions of a conference title in their minds after starting 2-0 in league play and winning seven straight to open the season. However, Lumberton coach Mike Brill has to get his team back on track following the loss to Richmond and with Scotland County coming to Alton G. Brooks Stadium. The Pirates still sport of the top defense in the SEC, allowing 12.8 points a game.
Hoke County at Purnell Swett
Coaches: Milton Butts, Hoke County. Mark Heil, Purnell Swett.
Records: Hoke County, 6-3, 1-2. Purnell Swett 3-5, 0-3.
Last game: Hoke County ran into a buzzsaw against fifth-ranked Scotland County. The Fighting Scots scored on all seven of their possessions in the first half and rolled to a 47-0 victory. The Bucks struggled on offense, managing 164 yards. Starting quarterback David Walrath was knocked out of the game in the first quarter after a hit by Scotland County’s Ernie Robinson. Purnell Swett is the SEC’s lone winless team in league play following its last-minute 23-20 loss to Pinecrest. The Rams appeared to have won the game when Patriot quarterback Travis Scales was hit and fumbled with less than two minutes in the contest. The officials ruled the play as an incomplete pass and moments later Scales found a streaking Steven Kennedy for a 40-yard game-winning touchdown.
Key matchup: Hoke County “playoff drive” vs. Purnell Swett’s “elimination game.” The Bucks have the next two games to try and win their second league contest of the season. Hoke County has two winnable games against Purnell Swett and Pinecrest, along with a victory over Richmond Senior. Since the reformation of the SEC three years ago, no team that has finished in fifth or sixth has made it to the playoffs. Like their opponents last week, the Rams are facing a must-win against the Bucks. A loss sends Purnell Swett into its rivalry game with Lumberton at 0-4 in league play and with little hope of earning a postseason berth. A win could spark the Rams to a late playoff push.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com