LAURINBURG — The first Sandhills Athletic Conference title is Scotland’s to lose at this point in the season.
The Fighting Scots are the only undefeated team in the SAC-8 after a 19-point win over Pinecrest on Friday. The 5-0 Scots are closely trailed by three 4-1 teams — Seventy-First, Jack Britt and Richmond.
The rivalry game between Richmond and the Fighting Scots could once against determine the conference champion when the foes meet on Nov. 3 to wrap up the regular season.
With the loss to Scotland, the Patriots fall to 2-3 in the SAC-8 ahead of 1-4 Lumberton and the 0-5 Purnell Rams and Hoke Bucks.
• Scotland defeated Pinecrest, 47-28
The Fighting Scots scored 28 unanswered points in the first quarter as they established the passing game early. Scots quarterback Warren Bell found slot receiver Khalil Smith for two touchdowns before senior Zamir White scored on short yardage to take a four-touchdown lead.
Pinecrest had success in their run game to cut the deficit, 28-14 just before halftime. White scored a third time before the break for the Scots fifth touchdown of the half.
White opened the third quarter with an 82-yard gallop for a touchdown to put the game out of the Patriots reach. The Patriots scored twice in the second half to make it a 47-28 Scots victory after a a final rushing touchdown by Joseph McKoy.
Scotland moves to 6-1 and 5-0 in SAC-8 play while Pinecrest moves to 5-4 overall and 2-3 in conference play.
• Richmond trounced Lumberton, 49-27
The Raiders had 260 yards on the ground, 175 yards through the air, forced two turnovers and recorded two sacks in their 49-27 victory over a Lumberton team that didn’t back down.
Lumberton tied the game 14-14 heading into the second quarter after touchdown passes from quarterback Braylan Grice to Tyson Alford and Kwasheek Breeden. Richmond scored on runs by Jaheim Covington and Dante Miller.
Richmond responded scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 28-14 lead into the break. The Raiders struck first in the second half as Da’Shaun Wallace recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
Lumberton scored twice in the second half, but two additional Richmond scores made a Pirates comeback impossible.
Richmond moves to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in SAC-8 play while Lumberton falls to 2-7 and 1-4 in conference play.
• Jack Britt bested Hoke, 40-12
The Buccaneers are on a four-game win streak after opening conference play with a loss to Scotland. Friday’s game was a stalemate in the first quarter as neither team found the end zone. Jack Britt responded with two second quarter touchdowns while Hoke managed to put six points on the board.
Jack Britt put the game completely out of reach in the third quarter scoring 23 points to Hoke’s six. A field goal in the fourth quarter sealed the 40-12 Buccaneer victory.
Jack Britt moves to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in SAC-8 play while Hoke falls to 0-9 and 0-5 in conference play.
• Seventy-First upended Purnell Swett, 41-12
Seventy-First wasted no time in bouncing back from its first conference loss by steamrolling Purnell Swett. The Falcons took an early 13-0 lead. The second quarter saw the Rams respond with a touchdown to make it a one possession game.
After halftime, Seventy-First scored 28 unanswered points before Purnell Swett scored their final touchdown.
Seventy-First returned to the ground game with 449 yards, compared to just 68 through the air. Rams quarterback Luke Oxendine rushed for both of Purnell’s touchdowns, as the Rams finished with two rushers in negative yardage.
Seventy-First moves to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in SAC-8 play while Purnell falls to 3-6 and 0-5 in conference play.
The SAC-8 teams enter Week 5 of conference play as Scotland travels to Lumberton while Jack Britt travels to Pinecrest. Hoke will play host to Purnell Swett and Richmond will remain at home in Rockingham to host Seventy-First.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.