LUMBERTON — Two Robeson County high school football teams took home wins on Friday, one in a matchup of two of the hottest teams in Robeson County in week six as conference play for all six teams got into full swing.
St. Pauls topped Fairmont by scoring 21 unanswered points and pitching a shutout in the second half. Lumberton started off conference play with a win over Hoke behind the play of its quarterback. Loss came from Purnell Swett and South Robeson on the road and Red Springs at home.
Here’s a look at the team and players that made their mark on Friday night.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
St. Pauls: After an 0-2 start to the year, St. Pauls has found its bearings and a 28-14 win at home on Friday showed that the Bulldogs are back and are living up to their preseason potential. The Bulldogs used wins over East Columbus and South Robeson to get its offense and defense back on track and the play of Noah Wheeler at quarterback has changed the dynamic of its offense. On defense, the defensive line and linebacking corps is looking more like the play of last year, even though it is a bit smaller than that unit from a year ago.
Noah Wheeler, QB, St. Pauls: A second-quarter fumble inside the Fairmont five-yard line was the turning point for Wheeler in the win. The reigning Robeson County offensive player of the year has returned to last year’s form in the past three weeks, after a slow start. He rushed for 74 yards and four touchdowns in the win, while also passing for 69 yards.
Braylan Grice, QB, Lumberton: For the second straight season, Grice logged five touchdowns against Hoke County. This time, the junior quarterback did most of his damage on the ground with a quartet of rushing scores. After a slow start, Grice got the Lumberton offense going in the second quarter and finished with 155 rushing yards on 22 carries. H also threw for 93 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown to Kwashek Breeden.
OTHER TOP PERFORMERS
Luke Oxendine, QB, Purnell Swett: Threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another at Richmond.
Chandler Brayboy, WR, Purnell Swett: Caught nine passes for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Sidney McKeithan, LB/RB, Fairmont: Had a rushing touchdown and a six tackles in the loss at St. Pauls.
Monte’ Wilkerson, ATH, Red Springs: Returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the loss against East Bladen.
Marqueise Coleman, RB, St. Pauls: Rushed for 100 yards on eight carries in his return from injury.
Kalan Locklear, DL, Purnell Swett: Had 13 tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a pass deflection.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.