Sandhills Athletic Conference power rankings

By: By Amber Hatten -

LAURINBURG — The Sandhills Athletic Conference standings haven’t changed much this week.

Despite suffering its first conference loss of the season, Seventy-First holds on to the No. 2 spot behind the undefeated Fighting Scots. The Falcons scored more points against Scotland than any other team this season and will be strong contenders in the 4A playoffs.

Jack Britt’s three-week win streak has moved them ahead of Richmond in this week’s standings to No. 3.

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 10.

1. Scotland (6-1, 4-0)

The Fighting Scots rushed into the record books on Friday against Seventy-First with a total of 623 rushing yards to remain undefeated in the SAC-8. The Scots were led by running back Zamir White and quarterback Warren Bell. White had 24 carries for 310 yards and three touchdowns while Bell had 26 carries for 274 yards with five touchdowns.

Scotland is the only remaining undefeated team in the conference and will face a up-and-down Pinecrest team this week in what has become quite the chippy rivalry.

Next up for Scotland: a home game against Pinecrest.

2. Seventy-First (6-2, 3-1)

The Falcons didn’t make it easy for the Fighting Scots on Friday as quarterback Kyler Davis and Reggie Bryant connected on four touchdowns. Seventy-First had 417 yards of total offense — 208 passing and 209 rushing — in their 56-35 loss to the Scots.

The final score didn’t indicate how close the game was, at halftime the Scots were up by two touchdowns 35-21. The Scotland offense broke free in the second half to put the game out of reach. Seventy-First’s defense just didn’t have any answer for Scotland’s Zamir White and Warren Bell and the offense couldn’t score enough points to keep the Falcons in the game.

Seventy-First has a very manageable game this week against Purnell Swett, a team that’s currently on a five-game losing streak.

Next up for Seventy-First: a road game against Purnell Swett.

3. Jack Britt (5-3, 3-1)

The Buccaneers rushing attack came alive Friday in their 32-6 win over Purnell Swett. After a scoreless first quarter, Jack Britt, led by a slew of backs scored five rushing touchdowns.

Deshawn Curtis, Cornell Raynor, Adam Gant, Chancellor Johnson and Camerin Evans all scored touchdowns for Jack Britt. In total, nine players ran the ball for 218 yards on 46 carries for five touchdowns.

For the first time this season, quarterback Brennan Shortridge did not complete a touchdown pass to wide receiver Barry Elliott. Shortridge had nine passes for 134 yards while Elliott has four catches for 77 yards.

Next up for Jack Britt: a home game against Hoke.

4. Richmond (5-3, 3-1)

Richmond had a rebound game this week trouncing a win-less Hoke, 56-7. After a 21-point loss to Jack Britt the week prior, the Raiders needed a pick-me-up to get through the remainder of their conference schedule.

Freshman quarterback Caleb Hood had a sub-par game with nine passes for 114 yards a touchdown and an interception.

The Raiders had 293 rushing yards to go along with 114 receiving yards for 407 yards of total offense. Senior tailback Dante Miller accounted for almost all of Richmond’s rushing yards with 10 carries for 166 yards and three touchdowns.

Next up for Richmond: a home game against Lumberton.

5. Pinecrest (5-3, 2-2)

The Patriots more or less abandoned their passing game last week against the Pirates. Pinecrest quarterback Greg VanSteen has one pass for 12 yards.

Junior tailback Zaythan Hill led the Pinecrest run game with 24 carries for 204 yards and three touchdowns. The Patriots other two touchdowns came courtesy of Trey Dowd and Corey Patterson.

Next up for Pinecrest: a home game against Lumberton.

6. Lumberton (2-6, 1-3)

Once again Pirates quarterback Braylan Grice — almost — willed his team to a victory. Grice accounted for all four of Lumberton’s touchdowns with 24 carries for 167 rushing yards. Grice also had 13 passes for 232 yards, but none of his receivers could make it to the promise land and get a touchdown.

Despite Grice’s efforts, Pinecrest won the game by a touchdown, 34-27 — as each team missed an extra point.

Lumberton now heads to Rockingham to take on the Raiders. Historically, it’s been a game dominated by Richmond. In the past five seasons, Lumberton is 0-5 against the Raiders. Richmond has outscored the Pirates 269-84 in their last five meetings.

Next up for Lumberton: a road game against Richmond.

7. Purnell Swett (3-5, 0-4)

The Rams are riding a five-game losing streak with no end in sight. Purnell Swett quarterback Luke Oxendine struggled against Jack Britt last week throwing one touchdown and one interception on 16 passes.

Purnell’s only touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a 33-yard pass from Oxendine to senior Nathan Brooks. Other than that, the Rams offense was non-existent with just 277 yards of total offense.

Next up for Purnell Swett: an away game against Seventy-First.

8. Hoke (0-8, 0-4)

The search for a win continues for the Bucks after a 56-7 defeat at the hands of the Raiders. Hoke’s only touchdown came in the second quarter, already down 21 points after giving up two touchdowns in the first quarter and two in the second to the Raiders.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Bucks as they travel to Hope Mills to take on a red hot Jack Britt.

Next up for Hoke: a road game against Jack Britt.

Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.

By Amber Hatten