LAURINBURG — The Sandhills Athletic Conference was split down the middle this week —three wins and three losses. Scotland and Purnell had their bye weeks while Jack Britt, Seventy-First and Lumberton found victory. Pinecrest, Richmond and Hoke all suffered losses.
Pinecrest’s loss to Providence leaves Purnell Swett as the only remaining undefeated SAC-8 team.
Keep in mind, the SAC-8 Power Rankings are based on how the team’s are performing this season.
As always, if you don’t like where I slotted your team, we can have a discussion about it via phone, e-mail, or social media — but please, leave the pitchforks at home.
Without further adieu, here are my rankings entering Week 5.
1. Purnell Swett (3-0)
The Rams had the week off and are gearing up for their final non-conference game against undefeated Hoggard (3-0). The Vikings will be the biggest test for Purnell so far this season and are a good warm up before the Rams open conference play against Richmond on Sept. 22.
Purnell Swett is the only undefeated team left in the Sandhills Athletic Conference after Pinecrest lost to Providence. The Rams appear to be this season’s dark horse, but only time will tell as Hoggard has only allowed 13 points through three games. The Vikings are also averaging 31 points per game while Purnell is averaging 40 points.
Next up for Purnell Swett: a road game against Hoggard.
2. Scotland (1-1)
After two weeks off the Scots are finally back on the field — in Charlotte. The No. 6 Scots final non-conference game keeps them on the road against No. 4 West Mecklenburg, a team that is averaging 48 points per game and only giving up just over 13 points.
Scots head coach Richard Bailey said his team is going to have to do a better job of quarterback containment against West Meck. The Scots offense will also have to battle a West Meck defense that has 12 sacks, four interceptions and eight fumble recoveries.
Next up for Scotland: a road game against West Mecklenburg.
3. Pinecrest (3-1)
The Patriots defense had to hold the line for 21 seconds against Providence in Charlotte last week to remain undefeated — they couldn’t do it. Pinecrest gave up the last second touchdown to the Panthers falling 24-20 unable to stop Providence tailback Julian Boddie. For the game, Boddie had 27 carries for 142 yards and a touchdown, the Panthers senior also had one catch for 35 yards.
Pinecrest’s offense also wasn’t as crisp with junior Greg VanSteen throwing an interception and getting sacked twice. The loss will likely knock Pinecrest out of the AP Top 10 Poll, after being tied for 10th last week in the first poll of the season.
The Patriots have a bye this week before opening conference play at home against Seventy-First on Sept. 22.
Next up for Pinecrest: a bye week
4. Richmond (2-2)
Raider Magic is clearly in short supply this season as Richmond failed to convert a trick play on fourth down against David W. Butler. Richmond senior Kaleb Douglas airmailed a pass to freshman quarterback Caleb Hood and the Raiders turned the ball over to Butler, who took a knee to end the game with a 27-21 win.
The game was tied 7-7 through most of the first quarter, before Butler scored three unasnwered touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead. Richmond’s Dante Miller led the comeback with two touchdown runs in the third quarter to take it a score game. Richmond couldn’t get the ball in the end zone in the fourth quarter to lose their second game of the season.
Richmond has a bye this week before opening conference play on Sept. 22 at home against Purnell Swett.
Next up for Richmond: a bye week
5. Seventy-First (3-1)
The Falcons did not have much trouble with a struggling Southern Durham team. The Spartans have been ouscored 156-37 in their four defeats.
The tune-up game might not serve Seventy-First well considering after their bye week they travel to Southern Pines to take on Pinecrest on Sept. 22.
The Falcons put together 574 yards of total offense — 246 receiving yards and 351 rushing yards. Junior quarterback Kyler Davis thre nine passes for 173 yards and one touchdown.
Next up for Seventy-First: a bye week
6. Jack Britt (2-2)
The Buccaneers are on their first win streak under first-year head coach Brian Randolph. The Bucanneers won a close home game against Southern Lee, 38-24 last week. Quarterback Brennan Shortridge had 11 completions for 173 yards and one touchdown.
Shortridge didn’t have much luck on the ground rushing for -6 yards alongiwth Malik Graddy who also rushed for negative yardage.
The bye week gives the Buccaneers a chance to come up with a game plan before taking on Scotland to open Sandhills Athletic Conference play on Sept. 22.
Next up for Jack Britt: a bye week
7. Lumberton (1-3)
It took four weeks longer than the Pirates hoped, but they finally got a “W” against winless West Brunswick. Lumberton came out on top 21-14.
The low scoring game saw West Brunswick go into the locker room at halftime with a 7-6 lead. The Pirates took a 14-7 lead on a 62-yard pass from Braylan Grice to Kwashek Breeden. West Brunswick tied the game two plays later with back-to-back 50-yard gallops by Amir Ford.
Lumberton (1-3) took a shot to the mouth early, but the defense responded to force three turnovers and keep West Brunswick (0-4) to just one touchdown the rest of the game, and the Pirates resurgent offense behind its running game took advantage in the win.
A loose ball picked up by Pirates linebacker Breighlan Swindell sealed the slim victory.
Lumberton like most of the SAC-8 teams has a bye this week before facing off with Hoke on Sept. 22 to open conference play.
Next up for Lumberton: a bye week
8. Hoke (0-4)
The Bucks remain winless heading into their bye week after a 55-27 loss to Lee County last week.
An interception thrown by senior quarterback Kevin Thrope and a botched kick off led to a quick 14 points for Lee County. Hoke kept it within a touchdown through the end of the first quarter, 13-7. The Bucks had no answer for Lee County’s offense as the Yellow Jackets tacked on 14 unanswered points to take a 27-14 lead at the half.
The second half saw Lee County continue to pile on the points and the Bucks struggle to try and mount any kind of comeback.
The Bucks are off this week and open conference play on Sept. 22 with a road game against Lumberton.
Next up for Hoke: a bye week
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.