Too Much Newsome for Pats
An early double dose of adversity was too much for Pinecrest to overcome against a fired up Hoke County football team fueled by Detrez Newsome Friday night.
Family members of the 30 Patriot players honored before the game on senior night might not have even gotten to their seats by the time the Bucks’ Jamal Harris returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.
On the Patriots’ second offensive possession, star quarterback Dwayne Simpson suffered an abdominal injury and returned for only a handful of snaps the rest of the way. While Newsome went on to rush for 162 yards on 26 carries and score three touchdowns, the Buck defense limited the Patriots to five first downs, minus-two net yards rushing and a total offense of 104 yards.
That all added up to a 35-7 loss that squished the Patriots outside chances of gaining a first-round state playoff game at home next Friday. They dropped to 5-6 overall and into fourth place in the Southeastern Conference with a record of 2-3. The Bucks, 9-2, 3-2, took over sole possession of third place.
Both teams were to find out their playoff destinations sometime on Saturday.
“When they returned the kick, and then Dwayne went down, the morale went down,” Patriot coach Chris Metzger said afterward. “That’s on us and we’ve got to do better job of lifting the kids up and having a contingency plan B.”
The second time the Patriots had the ball, Simpson, a 1,100-yard rusher this season with 23 touchdowns, was injured after a short gain and replaced by Aaron Reimer. The Patriots were forced to punt, but the defense was playing well. Newsome had gained just 11 yards on seven carries when Patriot linebacker Frankie Painter read a screen pass, picked it off and returned the ball 28 yards to the Buck 37.
But three plays lost six yards and the Patriots were forced to punt. The Bucks then drove 80 yards in 12 plays with Newsome chewing up 25 yards on one of his carries. An 18-yard pass from quarterback Geoffery Thompson to Corey Cannon produced the touchdown. The conversion by John Walrath made it 14-0 with 5:22 remaining until halftime.
The Patriots then made their only three first downs of the first half on a drive that took them from their own 22 to the visitor’s 33. But, Reimer was sacked twice and the Pats had to settle for a 63-yard field goal attempt by Jackson Maples that fell about 10 yards short.
The Patriots were forced to punt on their first three second-half possessions. After each boot, the Bucks scored a touchdown to all but punch their ticket for a favorable playoff seeding. On one of the three touchdown runs by Newsome, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior disappeared in a crowd of would-be Patriot tacklers only to emerge and race 71 yards to the end zone.
“You can’t leave them out there that long,” Metzger said of the Patriot defense. “The offense has to give them some momentum and we didn’t do that.”
Now trailing 35-0, Reimer completed passes of 19 yards to Ryan Smith and 49 yards to Justin Ray to set up the Patriot touchdown. On second-and-goal from the 10, the Patriots employed some trickery. Reimer handed off to running back Troy Roper who rolled to his right and threw a pass to tight end Eli Black in the end zone. The conversion by Maples completed the scoring.
The Patriots got the ball back quickly when safety Sam Brower jarred the ball loose from a Hoke ball carrier and it was recovered by linebacker Jonah Caliri. An interception by the Bucks’ Jawane Harris ended that threat.
“We tip our hats to Hoke,” Metzger said. “They had a great game plan. They were as advertised. There is a reason they are 9-2.
“We couldn’t get it going, but obviously we’re still alive. We played a tough schedule and we’re going to see a team (in the playoffs) much like the one we just played so we’ve got to iron some things out.”
Simpson’s status for next Friday is uncertain. Scotland High defeated Richmond Senior 21-14 on Friday to win its second conference title in a row. Lumberton defeated Purnell Swett 42-18 in the other SEC contest. The Pinecrest junior varsity team defeated Hoke 35-0 on Thursday to finish the season with a record of 7-3.
Hoke 7 7 21 0 — 35
Pinecrest 0 0 0 7 — 7
Scoring: (H) Jamal Harris 92-kick return (John Walrath kick); (H) Corey Cannon 18-pass from Geoffery Thompson (Walrath kick); (H) Detrez Newsome 71-run (kick blocked); (H) Newsome 20-run (Thompson run); (H) Newsome 1-run (Walrath kick); (P) Eli Black 10-pass from Troy Roper (Jackson Maples kick).
Team stats: First downs – (H) 15 (P) 5; Rushing – (H) 43-281(P) 25 (-1); Passing – (H) 4-6, 37 yds., td, Int. (P) 7-15, 105 yds., td., int.; Fumbles – (H) 2-1 (P) 1-0; Penalties – (H) 5-52 (P) 7-59; Punts – (H) 2 - 41.0 (P) 7 – 29.3.
Individual stats: Rushing – (H) Newsome 26 – 162, Thompson 9-96, Page 5-29, McRae 1-2 (P) Sengkhenpong 5-13, Roper 3-9, McCoy 2-6, Anderson 1-(-1), Simpson 4-(-3), Reimer 10 (-25); Passing – (H) Thompson 3-4, 33 yds., td. Int., Cobb 1-2, 4 yds. (P) Reimer 5-11, 87 yds., int., Roper 1-1, 10 yds., td., Simpson 1-3, 8 yds.; Receiving – (H) Cannon 3-30, Holliday 1-7 (P) Ray 3-64, Smith 1-19, Black 1-10, Lacy 1-9, Tew 1-3.
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