SOUTHERN PINES — Pinecrest forced four Lumberton turnovers to trip up the Pirates 24-0 for its first win in the series since the 1993 season.
The shutout was also the first for the Patriots against a conference opponent since they stopped Hoke County 7-0 in 2008. It marked the second time Lumberton has been blanked this season. Jack Britt claimed a 27-0 win over the Pirates on Aug. 24.
Justin Sengkhenpong scored on a 15-yard run to cap a short five-play, 31-yard drive on Pinecrest’s first possession. Dwayne Simpson added two touchdown runs of his own for the Patriots (4-3, 1-0) to push his total to 17 on the year.
Lumberton’s best chance to score came early in the second quarter when it drove to the Pinecrest 9. The Pirates (4-2, 0-1) were unable to push the ball into the end zone as Jez Deese’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
“We won the turnover battle and it was a great team effort,” Pinecrest coach Chris Metzger said to The Pilot. “We’re going to enjoy this in the morning and then obviously have the opportunity to play the defending state champions.”
Pinecrest will take on Scotland 7:30 p.m. Friday at the John W. Williams Athletic Complex. Lumberton will play host to Hoke County at the same time.
SCOTLAND 42, PURNELL SWETT 0
LAURINBURG — Scotland’s defense of its Southeastern Conference title began on the right foot as the Fighting Scots breezed to a 42-0 victory over Purnell Swett.
Jaylend Ratliffe got things going early for Scotland (5-1, 1-0) with a 4-yard touchdown run to cap an eight-play drive. Later in first quarter, Ratliffe hooked up with Tra’Shawn Gregory for a 35-yard scoring pass on fourth-and-10 for the Fighting Scots to extend the lead to 14-0. Scotland would add two more scores in the opening 12 minutes to stretch their advantage to 28-0.
Purnell Swett (2-4, 0-1) threatened to break up the shutout when it drove to the Scotland 3 in the second quarter, but a Cody Locklear fumble would end the threat for the Rams.
“I told my guys before the game that we will either be in last place or first place depending on how this game went,” Scotland coach Richard Bailey said to the Laurinburg Exchange. “We’re in first place now, but I don’t expect us to have many more nights like this, because this is a tough conference and each week you have to be ready.”
Scotland will travel to Southern Pines to take on Pinecrest at 7:30 p.m. Friday, while Purnell Swett will take on the Southeastern Conference’s lone remaining undefeated team, Richmond, in Pembroke.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.