Pats Face Pirates in Homecoming Game
Pinecrest coach Chris Metzger described his team as banged up this week as it looked forward to tonight’s Southeastern Conference opener against Lumberton.
Coming off a 42-24 loss to New Hanover last week that took a toll physically, the Patriots, 3-3, meet a Pirate squad that is off to a 4-1 start. The kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on homecoming night at the John W. Williams Athletic Complex.
Lumberton is one of four SEC teams likely to be refreshed from coming off a bye week.
The most serious of the injuries from last week was one to the knee of sophomore running back Chance Castillo, who made his first varsity start.
Lumberton is the only SEC team the Patriots haven’t defeated since Metzger became the Patriot coach in 2007.
The two teams have had one common opponent this season. The Patriots lost 34-15 to Jack Britt, and the Bucs beat the Pirates 27-0.
Both teams have passed sparingly and gotten the majority of their offensive production from one player. Patriot senior Dwayne Simpson has gained 699 yards on 98 carries and scored 15 touchdowns. His yardage on the ground has dropped dramatically since he was moved from running back to quarterback two games ago.
Lumberton senior Daniel Robinson has accounted for almost 60 percent of his team’s total offense, gaining 836 yards on 101 carries. The Pirates also boast a defense that is very tough to run against.
SEC teams are off to a good start, led by Hoke 6-0 and Richmond Senior 5-0. Next week’s opponent, Scotland High, is 4-1, and Purnell Swett is 2-3. Richmond (No. 2), New Hanover (No. 8), Scotland (No. 9) and Jack Britt (No. 10) are league and non-league opponents currently ranked in the AP top 10. Hoke is an honorable mention selection in the NCPreps poll.
The combined record of Pinecrest’s first six opponents is 24-12.
The performance of special teams continues to be a strong point for Pinecrest. Against New Hanover, Nick Lacy returned a punt and three kickoffs for a total of 139 yards. Frankie Painter averaged 42.5 yards on four punts. Jackson Maples put four kickoffs in the end zone and converted three extra points and a 30-yard field goal. Trey Wooten blocked an extra point attempt.
The average start on eight Patriot offensive possessions was their own 47-yard line. The Wildcat average on the same number was their own 25.
One slip-up by the Patriot punt unit was a costly one. It appeared to be down field in plenty of time under a Painter punt in the third quarter, but the Cats’ Trevon Brown escaped and turned it into a 78-yard TD scamper.
A desperate scramble late in the game by Simpson that resulted in a whopping 18-yard loss deprived the Patriot senior of his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season. He finished with 98 yards on 20 carries.
The interception by J’hyvion Justice was the Patriots’ ninth of the season. Frankie Painter, who led the team with 11 total tackles, and Luke Fetla were credited with sacks. Fetla made two other tackles for losses.
Free safety Sam Brower leads the team in total tackles for the season (64). Next are linebackers Mike Gray (53) and Jonah Caliri (46), cornerback Lacy (40) and Painter (38). Linebacker Colton Daymude has recorded the most tackles for losses (six). Lacy and Brower lead in pass breakups (five).
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