SAC Power Rankings: Rivalry week is here

By: Brandon Tester - Sports editor

Each week of the regular season, The Laurinburg Exchange publishes its own football power rankings for the Sandhills Athletic Conference. These rankings are based on team performance, storylines, upcoming games, injuries and analysis from the sports desk.

Here are the most recent power rankings.

1. Richmond (10-0, 6-0 SAC) No change

Richmond is guaranteed at least a share of the conference championship, regardless of what happens this week against Scotland. But the Raiders can win it outright if they defeat the Scots in Laurinburg.

Richmond is looking like a team that could make a big run in the playoffs. Defeating the Raiders is an intimidating challenge, and we’ll see if Scotland has what it takes this week.

2. Scotland (9-1, 5-1 SAC) Previous: 3

After a rout of Lumberton last week, Scotland can grab a share of the conference title by defeating Richmond on Friday night. Scotland’s loss to Pinecrest two weeks ago hurt in a variety of ways, but a rivalry win at Pate Stadium would give the Scots a big jolt of confidence heading into the postseason.

3. Pinecrest (9-1, 5-1 SAC) Previous: 2

The Patriots hung on for a 17-15 win against Jack Britt last week. Pinecrest will undoubtedly be rooting for Scotland to beat Richmond this week; if the Scots pull off the upset and Pinecrest wins it season final against Hoke, the Patriots will be a part of a three-way tie for the conference title.

4. Jack Britt (7-3, 3-3 SAC) No change

Following a close loss to Pinecrest last week, the Buccaneers are set tot travel to Seventy-First to face the struggling Falcons. Jack Britt fell short against all three of the conference’s top teams, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Bucs are a talented, playoff-caliber team.

5. Hoke (6-4, 3-3 SAC) Previous: No change

With last week’s 43-0 win against Purnell Swett, the Bucks are guaranteed to finish the regular season with a winning record. After struggling mightily in recent years, the Bucks will definitely be happy with that accomplishment.

The Bucks have a chance to make some more noise when they host Pinecrest this week.

6. Seventy-First (5-5, 2-4 SAC) No change

The Falcons have struggled due to injuries and inexperience this season. They were overpowered by Richmond last week, but the Falcons should have a better chance at competing with Jack Britt this week.

7. Lumberton (2-8, 0-6 SAC) No change

Playing the conference’s top three teams consecutively was not ideal for the struggling Pirates, but they can end the season on a positive note if they defeat rival Purnell Swett this week.

8. Purnell Swett (0-10, 0-6 SAC) No change

The Rams’ record says a lot about how their season has gone. But Purnell Swett has played some of its best football in the late stages of the season, and the Rams will be in front of their home crowd for this week’s rivalry game against Lumberton.

Shares of SAC title on the line

Brandon Tester

Sports editor