It was a solid week for Robeson County on the gridiron, with four of the county’s high school football teams earning wins this past Friday night.
Fairmont (1-3) got in the win column for the first time this season with a dominating 37-7 road victory at South Brunswick. Lumberton (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 17-14 comeback win at Overhills. Purnell Swett (3-2) bounced back from a blowout loss to beat Jack Britt, 23-8. Red Springs (3-1) currently has the best mark in the county after a 12-7 win over Lakewood at home. South Robeson (0-4) remains the only winless team in the county after an 44-14 loss to Lake View.
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: It was tough to single out one team this week as the best performer, but the Rams’ win against Jack Britt just didn’t feel like a normal victory. After getting embarrassed at Westover last week in a 49-6 loss, Purnell Swett came back to Pembroke set to take on perennial power Jack Britt. No, the Buccaneers aren’t the dominant team we’re accustomed to seeing, but for a young Rams team, that didn’t matter. They knew what was at stake, took the field and enforced their will on a team for 48 minutes. For them, it was about earning respect. With the win, Purnell Swett has eclipsed their total from last season (2) in Jon Sherman’s second year as head coach.
Al’Drique Thompson, RB, Purnell Swett — From the opening drive in a 23-8 win over Jack Britt, it was clear that Thompson was going to get what he wanted on the ground. The junior rushed for 43 yards on the first offensive possession, capping the drive with one of his game-best two touchdowns. With Luke Oxendine doing a nice job out of the read option and offensive linemen creating running lanes, Thompson carried the ball 25 times for 117 yards to keep the Buccaneers’ defense on its heels throughout the game. He also had several runs late in the contest that kept the chains moving and the clock running.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
Jessup Oxendine, CB, Purnell Swett — Finished with two interceptions, including a 23-yard return for a touchdown.
Tae Tae Stephenson, FB, Lumberton — Finished with two rushing touchdowns, including the go-ahead score.
Montrez Howell, RB, Lumberton — Had 128 rushing yards on 19 carries.
Devonta McKoy, LB, Lumberton — Tallied seven tackles and a pair of interceptions.
Jerome Bass, DE, Red Springs — Recorded seven tackles for loss.
Julius Caulder, QB, Fairmont — Was 10-of-16 for 281 passing yards with two touchdowns. He also scored a rushing touchdown.
Halijah McLean, RB, Fairmont — Rushed 11 times for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Jarique Moore, WR, Fairmont — Hauled in three catches for 135 yards and two scores.
Eric Graham, RB, Red Springs — Rushed nine times ofr 87 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.