Hoke County falls to Pinecrest in season finale

Hoke County quarterback Brandon Saunders runs the ball during last week’s game. Saunders scored the game’s first touchdown, but that was all the Bucks could manage in a 35-6 loss. (Jason Jackson for North State Journal)

Hoke County wrapped up its regular season with a 35-6 loss at Pinecrest on Friday night. With rain and tears falling on Pinecrest’s senior night, the Bucks were able to jump out to an early lead, recovering a fumbled punt inside the five-yard line and scoring on a Brandon Saunders run.  The six points would be all Hoke County scored on the night, however, as Pinecrest rallied with five unanswered touchdowns to pull away.

Cody Hansen threw for two touchdowns and Mason Konen one as Pinecrest went to the air to wipe out an early 6-0 Hoke lead. Cole Harrison caught two touchdown passes and finished with four catches for 61 yards. Zymire Spencer had a 51-yard touchdown catch and added a rushing score during his 91-yard day.

Hoke County finishes its regular season with a 3-7 record, 1-5 in the Sandhills Conference. The Bucks went 2-3 at home but won just one of five road games. It was their most losses and worst conference record since 2018, when the Bucks went 1-10, 1-6.

Now the spotlight in county football shifts to middle school, where Friday sees an East vs. West showdown. East Hoke Middle School hosts West Hoke Middle at 6:00 on Friday at Raz Autry Stadium. It’s the first time the rivalry game, which has been played since 1991, will be under the Friday night lights.