The final Power Rankings will appear with the release of Robeson County’s All-County football team when the last area team is eliminated from the postseason.
Like all rankings not based on a computer-based mathematical formula, these are subjective.
Comments are welcome.
6. South Robeson (0-9, 0-4): Head coach Garron Warwick has talked all season about the budding talent on his junior varsity team at South Robeson. Instead of rushing his players’ development, he has let the majority of his underclassmen play the entire season at the lowest level before letting them experience the big leagues as juniors. Last week, however, Warwick called up Daquinn Lindsay against Red Springs and the inexperienced quarterback led South Robeson on three second-half touchdown drives against Red Springs. It was a bright spot in a loss and too little, too late for the Mustangs.
5. Purnell Swett (4-5, 1-3): Don’t count the Rams out just yet, as Swett faces a crucial final game this week against Lumberton. The crowd will rival, if not exceed, the Fairmont/Red Springs gathering a few weeks ago as the most-attended game in Robeson County this season. Swett’s offense is playing the way most of us thought it would entering the season with a senior quarterback and veteran leadership in the backfield and at receiver. If Senior Night goes well for the Rams, Swett could sneak into the playoffs with an at-large berth. Like last season, the Rams must beat the Pirates to have a chance at more football.
4. St. Pauls (6-4, 3-1): The Bulldogs are right there at the end, winning their last three games to set up Friday’s shot at a piece of the Three Rivers Conference championship against Fairmont. St. Pauls went weeks this season without an identity on offense, but Jacob Locklear has solidified that unit as a rush-pass threat. No team has been able to stop Antonio Henderson in conference play as he leads at receivers during league games with six touchdown receptions. He’ll have to make more impact plays this week against a Fairmont secondary led by ball hawks Andrew Hill and D’Andre Johnson.
3. Red Springs (7-2, 3-1): After the Red Devils beat West Columbus this week to put the finishing touches on an 8-2 regular season, I’d hate to be on the Red Devils’ side of the 1A playoff bracket. Here’s a team that is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball with the county’s top dual-threat quarterback and a physically-dominant defensive line. On top of that, both losses this season have come against teams of a higher classification that match up up well with the Red Devils. Not many 1A teams have the speed and quickness of George Coltharp’s group and that will show this postseason.
2. Lumberton (7-2, 2-2): Limping into the postseason was never the game plan for the Pirates, who ran off seven straight wins to start this season. Friday’s game at Purnell Swett is important for Lumberton’s confidence and could decide whether or not the Pirates are at home in the first round of the playoffs. Lumberton’s offense should have a better showing this week, but it’ll be up to the defense to shut down a bevy of playmakers for the Rams. Darius Lesane and Dorian Davis, two seniors that anchor Lumberton’s defense, are hoping to take out Swett for the first time in their varsity careers.
1. Fairmont (10-0, 4-0): The Golden Tornadoes have much to fix but stay atop this week’s rankings after a three-touchdown win at East Columbus solidified at least a share of their third straight Three Rivers Conference championship. Seven turnovers was the bigger storyline as Fairmont shook off numerous mistakes to win for the second consecutive week. Down the road, lack of focus and execution problems could fatal to this team’s state title aspirations. The Golden Tornadoes will work on correcting those errors this week and try to finish the regular season unbeaten with a top playoff seed.
Staff writer Brad Crawford can be reached at (910) 272-6119 or email@example.com