PEMBROKE — Tyler Maynor pinpointed the football and secured the interception, a possession after his 6-yard touchdown catch from Thristian Lowry gave Purnell Swett a four-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
The Rams were four minutes away from their first victory over a 4A opponent this season.
It was time to finish.
“Both of us had to win this game if we had any chance at playoffs and we were the team that found a way to get it done,” Purnell Swett coach Mark Heil said after his team’s 21-17 decision over Hoke on Saturday. “We didn’t have any turnovers and we made plays when we had to make plays. We’ve been trying to finish all year and did so today.”
Swett (3-7, 1-3) picked up two first downs after Maynor’s interception at the Rams 12 snuffed out Hoke’s last-gasp scoring opportunity. Facing a 4th-and-3 with 1:21 left to play, Swett elected to punt and that’s when Braylan Locklear delivered one of his most important boots of the season.
Locklear’s 55-yard kick sailed over the returner’s head and pushed the Bucks back inside their own 30 without a timeout.
Three plays later, the game was over.
“Braylan got all of one when we needed it,” Heil said. “It was the perfect time for a kick like that. Our kids continued to make plays throughout the game.”
Swett can become playoff eligible with a victory in next week’s regular season finale against Lumberton (0-10, 0-4). Before Saturday, the Rams’ last win against a 4A program came against those familiar Pirates in 2011 in Pembroke.
“If we can win that game and drop a loss we’re 4-6 in our league with a shot,” Heil said. “Our backs are against the wall and we know what we’ll have to do.”
The Rams got on the board in the first half when Lowry found Maynor for a 17-yard touchdown strike. The Bucks led 10-7 at intermission, but Heil said he liked where his team was headed with a mistake-free approach with the football.
“We’ve been getting better each week even if the scores haven’t shown it,” he said. “I thought we took another stride this afternoon.
Swett’s second touchdown put the Rams ahead 14-10 late in the third when Lowry rolled to his right and found the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
Lumberton loses big in 2nd round
The Lumberton soccer team fell behind early and couldn’t rally back in an 8-1 loss to New Hanover in the second round of the 4A state playoffs at Wilmington’s Legion Stadium.
The Pirates (16-7) allowed three goals in the first 15 minutes and trailed 5-0 at halftime to the No. 5-ranked Wildcats (19-2-2).
“We knew coming in that we’d be tested and it’d be difficult,” Lumberton coach Kenny Simmons said. “They are a quality team, just so well organized. Very athletic, very technical.”
It was the most goals the Pirates have allowed all season.
Simmons said New Hanover started game with a high pressure approach, allowing for the early goals. After that, it “snowballed”, he said.
“We had no answers,” Simmons said.
Lumberton’s Colby Johnson scored his team’s only goal early in the second half, which the Wildcats promptly responded to with another goal.
It ends the season for a senior-heavy Pirate squad. Simmons was happy with how the season went as a whole, but was disappointed with the lopsided finish.
“This loss stings a bit,” he said.
Purnell Swett 21, Hoke 17
Hoke 10 0 0 7 — 17
Swett 0 7 7 7 — 21
PS — Tyler Maynor 17 pass from Thristian Lowry (Triston Hunt kick)
PS — Lowry 1 run (Triston Hunt kick)
PS — Maynor 6 pass from Lowry (Triston Hunt kick)
RECORDS — Swett 3-7, 1-3; Hoke 2-8, 1-3.
Friday’s Late Box
South Columbus 56, Fairmont 24
Fairmont6 1800 — 24
South Columbus 14 20 14 8 — 56
SC — Rashaad Chatman 17 run (run failed)
FMT — Shyheim Hines 10 pass from Jarrod Neal (Walker run)
SC — Chatman 2 run (Chatman run)
FMT — Ethan Baldwin 14 pass from Neal (Shemar Barfield pass from Neal)
SC — Khalil Soles 17 pass from Quinlan Hammond (run failed)
SC — Sam Dixon 46 pass from Hammond (run good)
FMT — Da’Shawn Fields 27 pass from Neal (Neal run)
SC — Chatman 2 run (run failed)
SC — Dashaun Daniels 17 run (run good)
SC — Reggie Frink 5 run (run failed)
RUSHING: SC — Dashaun Daniels 23-202, Reggie Frink 18-242, Chatman 11-80, Hammond 2-10, Cephus McGill 1-3, Carlos McClure 2-9; FMT — Quenton Walker 7-15, Cedrique Baldwin 5-29, Neal 6-17, Shyheim Hines 1-7.
PASSING: SC — Hammond 5-10-1-98. FMT — Neal 16-37-3- 232.
RECEIVING: SC — Dixon Jr. 3-74, Khalil Soles 2-24; FMT — Ethan Baldwin 7-77, Fields 5-111, Shemar Barfield 2-27, Hines 1-10, Quenton Walker 1-7.