Two weeks into the regular season, and two teams in Robeson County are separating themselves from the rest.
Red Springs and St. Pauls, the top two teams in the preseason and Week 1 Robeson County football power rankings, are distancing themselves from the other four teams in the county, that have combined to win once in six games. Now the top teams will cool off for a bye week.
The shake-up in the bottom four continues this week in the rankings with Purnell Swett claiming the one win among the four squads.
1. Red Springs
Dominant teams win in dominating fashions, and Friday’s 40-20 win over Vance County was another performance that shows the Red Devils are worthy of being the top team in the county. Behind another 300-plus yard rushing performance, Red Springs is begging for teams to try their best shot at slowing down their rushing attack, and very few teams may be capable of doing so.
2. St. Pauls
Another week, another road win for the Bulldogs as it came back from a 20-17 deficit to claim the 27-20 win at Union Pines. The wins bolster St. Pauls’ stock in the power rankings and bring them closer to that No. 1 spot. St. Pauls has its path paved to a solid start to the season, with East Columbus and South Robeson coming up after its week off, while Red Springs jumps into the thick of Three Rivers Conference play against South Columbus.
3. Purnell Swett
Winning does a lot for a team, and the 20-point runaway that the Rams had on Friday against Ashley gives it a better outlook going forward after the uneven loss at Pine Forest to open the season. The Rams take on Douglas Byrd this week, who is trying to reach the two-win plateau for the first time since 2015, when it claimed three victories. After that meeting, Purnell Swett enters a rough stretch of games that includes Hoggard, Richmond, Scotland, Pinecrest, Jack Britt and Seventy-First.
A second loss to Westover in the fourth quarter in as many seasons is a rallying point for a team that is still getting adjusted to a new staff and style of play. Faced with which way it will go before Sandhills Athletic Conference play starts in three weeks, the Pirates travel to South View this week that will be another week of trial by fire, after the Tigers defeated Jack Britt and Hoke to start off its season.
This week will tell if the Golden Tornadoes have used their bye week wisely to improve from its poor performance last week against Douglas Byrd. It once again takes on run-heavy team in Ashley, that posted 207 yards on the ground against Purnell Swett. The Fairmont offense has to show its ability to sustain drives, and figure out what quarterback it will use from here on out.
6. South Robeson
The Mustangs’ ran out of time and energy on Friday with a loss to Union, but to compare it to previous outings in non-conference play in the past few seasons, a 22-20 loss is a building point for a young team. Without its leading returning rusher and a key piece on the defensive line, South Robeson has a tough test this week against Lake View, but moving forward this team shows promise.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.