Hoke County wins Turkey Bowl trophy in homecoming game

Hoke County holds the Turkey Bowl Trophy high as the team celebrates a homecoming win over Union Pines, 28-21. (HAL NUNN | NORTH STATE JOURNAL)

Hoke County snapped a four-game losing streak with a 28-21 win over Union Pines in Friday’s homecoming game. The win earned the Bucks the Turkey Bowl trophy and a win over the Vikings for the third straight year.

Brandon Saunders led the Bucks’ offense, throwing for three touchdowns on a 10-for22, 185-yard passing night. Saunders completed touchdown passes to Joey Castaneda, Tyceri Vick and Tre’jan Williams to help build an early lead. Williams also added an interception on defense, which he returned 60 yards.

The Bucks also got a boost from the ground game, with Jairo Ortiz carrying 20 times for 100 yards and a touchdown.

Union Pines was led on offense by Hayne Tobias, who caught four passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns as well as a two-point conversion.

Hoke County improved to 3-6 on the season and won its first conference game against four losses.  The Bucks close out the regular season on the road, Friday, with a game against Pinecrest. The Patriots are 8-0, 4-0 in conference.

Hoke has lost to Pinecrest each of the last three years and haven’t won at Pinecrest since 2005.

Union Pines lost its third straight game to fall to 2-6 on the year, 1-3 in the Sandhills Conference. They host Southern Lee on Friday in the first of back-to-back home games to close out the regular season. The Vikings have won the last four over Southern Lee.