Another dominating performance from Purnell Swett for the second straight week has it and Red Springs as the only Robeson County teams with a winning record after three weeks of play.
Behind the pair of 2-1 teams, Lumberton and St. Pauls sit one game behind at 1-2 after losses this week. Fairmont and South Robeson remain winless at 0-3.
As the season progresses, we’ll highlight the top performances of the week — from teams and individuals — and give insight on the teams trending up and players to keep an eye on as the state playoffs draw closer.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Purnell Swett: With another all-around solid performance, Purnell Swett captured its second team of the week honor this season to go along with a second win — matching the team’s win total from last season. The 2-1 record puts the Rams above .500 for the first time since the 2011 season.
Purnell Swett held South Robeson under 100 yards of total offense in the game while racking up five touchdowns on 317 yards of total offense.
Quarterback Luke Oxendine is settling in as the first-year starter and has good rapport with his receivers and the team’s bounty of running backs. He has scored a touchdown in each of the Rams first three games.
Purnell Swett’s defense took control of the game early and set the tone for the rest of the contest by forcing the Mustangs to pass the ball, going against its preferred style of running out of the Wing-T formation.
Chandler Brayboy, WR, Purnell Swett — For the second straight contest, Brayboy tallied multiple touchdowns and over 100 yards receiving, solidifying himself as Oxendine’s go-to target. Over the last two games, Brayboy has 10 catches for 235 yards and five touchdowns and is third among receivers in the county for receiving yards and tied for third in overall touchdowns.
With quick lateral speed, he creates a threat on short screen plays as well as going vertical up the field. He showcased his ability to do both for touchdowns on Thursday against South Robeson, hauling in a season-high 10 catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns against the Mustangs.
Marquis Ray, RB, Red Springs — The Red Springs back has thrived the last two games with 293 yards rushing and a combined three touchdowns in games against Purnell Swett and Harrells Christian Academy. Ray is the county leader in rushing yards with 351 yards through three games.
The combination of speed and power he possesses works well as a quick threat for the Red Devils out of the fullback position. He rushed for 157 yards against Harrells with his lone touchdown coming on a 62-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.
UNDER THE RADAR
Noah Wheeler, QB, St. Pauls — The speed that Wheeler brings from moving from wide receiver to quarterback has done the junior well this season. With two rushing touchdowns against East Bladen on Thursday, he has found the endzone four times this season — three times on the run and once passing.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
Luke Oxendine, QB, Purnell Swett — Passed for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Also gained 31 yards on eight rushes and another score. He is tied for the county lead in overall touchdowns with seven.
Tyreik McCallum, WR, Lumberton — Grabbed eight receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns.
Eric Graham, RB, Red Springs — Scored twice and tallied 150 yards rushing.
Jerome Bass, DL, Red Springs — Collected 13 tackles, one tackle for a loss, one sack and a fumble recovery.
Caleb Locklear, LB, Red Springs — Tallied 13 tackles.
Michael Barnes, WR, St. Pauls — Totaled 100 yards receiving on five catches.
Dayshawn Ray, DL, St. Pauls — Led the team with six tackles and scored on a 72-yard interception return.
Julius Caulder, QB, Fairmont — Passed for 209 yards on 21 completions and one touchdown that ties him for county lead with seven touchdown overall.
Kalan Locklear, DL, Purnell Swett — Had two sacks for 25 yards of loss.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.