Robeson County football teams posted another 2-4 record this week and now four of the six teams have 1-1 records with Fairmont and South Robeson still in search of that first victory.
Purnell Swett downed in-county rival Red Springs and St. Pauls used a late touchdown drive against Douglas Byrd to give Ernest King his first win with the Bulldogs for the two county wins. 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: The Rams bounced back from a season-opening 11-6 loss to Pine Forest to avenge last season’s defeat at Red Springs with a convincing 43-20 win at home.
With the help of its depth, Purnell Swett amassed more than 350 yards of total offense and took a 29-0 lead after the first drive of the third quarter against a Red Springs team that held the Sandhills Titans to eight points in the opener. With over 200 yards on the ground and quarterback Luke Oxendine passing for nearly 150 yards and leading the fast-paced offense, the Rams scored three times on their first six possessions and wore down the Red Springs defense.
By taking away the run game from Red Springs in the first half, the Rams forced three straight three-and-outs and kept Red Springs to 63 yards of total offense on 32 plays. Dylan Lowry and Jessup Oxendine picked on Red Devils quarterback Toddrick Lockhart on his final two passes in the first half, with Lowry’s being returned 15 yards for a touchdown.
The 43-point performance is the highest scoring output for the Rams under second-year coach Jon Sherman.
Chris Graham, RB, St. Pauls —The senior running back was a workhorse for the Bulldogs in their first win of the season, rushing for 154 yards on 25 carries en route to scoring the go-ahead touchdown to give Ernest King his first victory as head coach.
Graham found the end zone on a 12-yard run in the final minutes of the game to seal the road win.
Purnell Swett’s rushing attack — Behind the legs of Damion Holloway, Deandre Pankey and Al’Drique Thompson, the Rams’ three-man rushing attack took advantage of the Red Springs defense, combining for 181 yards on 25 attempts and two touchdowns.
Thompson finished with a team-high 83 yards on four rushes. He broke his first run free for 42 yards and then on the next drive ran for 35 yards to set up the Rams’ second touchdown of the game. Pankey had a game-high of 13 rushes and finished with Purnell Swett’s first touchdown and 50 yards. Holloway finished with eight carries for 48 yards.
Quarterback Luke Oxendine also added 28 yards rushing on five carries.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
Marquis Ray, RB, Red Springs — Scored two touchdowns on 10 carries and totaled 136 rushing yards.
Chandler Brayboy, WR, Purnell Swett — Finished with five catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Derrick Arnette, WR, Fairmont — Had a team-high 110 yards receiving on 10 catches.
Tyreik McCallum, KR, Lumberton — Had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Aubrey Savannah, DL, Lumberton — Finished with two sacks.
Darrius Brown, KR, South Robeson — Had an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.