High school football predictions for Week 6

·4 min read

Sep. 23—Every fall, you hear people remark with surprise at how fast the football season is going. Then, the next year, the same people are surprised again.

I'm one of them. When I typed the headline that these are predictions for Week 6, I thought to myself that that can't be right — but it is, indeed, the sixth Friday night of the season, halfway to the regular season's conclusion.

Upon kickoff on Friday, every local team will have begun conference play — four of the five did last week — and the season is beginning to take shape. Matchups in the coming weeks that might have gotten a quick glance in August are now circled on calendars as they get closer and the stakes become more clear.

As Week 6 unfolds Friday night, here are predictions on each local game's outcome:

Last Week: 3-1

Overall: 14-4

St. Pauls at Red Springs

Red Springs will hosts its rivals with a winless record on the season, becoming the last Southeastern Athletic Conference team to begin conference play. While they haven't won, the Red Devils have played three games that could easily have gone either way. The team's defense has been decent this fall.

But the Red Devils haven't faced anything like what they'll see from the Bulldogs. St. Pauls is coming off consecutive blowout wins since its loss to Westover, which was the team's first in the regular season since 2019. And you know the Bulldogs won't exactly take it easy against their rivals, either.

As an aside, Kemarion Baldwin needs just 32 rushing yards to pass Vonta Leach for second all-time in Robeson County history, and 271 to pass James McDougald for first; one rushing touchdown will match Eric Murphy, the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator, for the school record, and two will break it.

Red Springs is a better football team than the one that last 54-8 to the Bulldogs at the end of last season, but there's still plenty of distance between these two programs.

St. Pauls 42, Red Springs 12

Purnell Swett at Cape Fear

Purnell Swett is an improved team this fall, and being right in the game against undefeated Gray's Creek — in which the difference was essentially one play — is further proof of the program's progress. They'll now face another team in Cape Fear that should be in the top tier of the United-8 Conference when all is said and done.

The Colts are coming off a 37-point win at Lumberton, and have responded well since their lone loss of the season, to E.E. Smith in Week 2, using a balanced offensive attack and a satisfactory defense.

Purnell Swett is capable of staying in this game, which hasn't been the case in years past when they've played top-flight teams. They're even capable of winning it if they get the right breaks to fall their way. But in the end, I think the Colts will emerge victorious.

Cape Fear 34, Purnell Swett 27

Lumberton at Jack Britt

Jack Britt has won four straight meetings since these teams became conference foes in 2017, including a 27-7 outcome last year. The Buccaneers are not necessarily quite as good as they've been in recent years, but they will still have the best player on the field Friday night. Sincere Baines (684 rushing yards, 173 receiving yards, 11 total touchdowns) is always hard to contain, and that will likely be no different for the Pirates.

Offensively, Lumberton hasn't scored since its Week 1 loss to Fairmont; this could well be their initial goal in Friday's game before the broader goal of winning at the end of 48 minutes.

I don't anticipate this being as lopsided as Lumberton's 37-0 loss to Cape Fear last week, but Baines and Co. will still not have too much problem separating themselves on the scoreboard.

Jack Britt 30, Lumberton 14

Midway at Fairmont

In last year's finale, in a game with a decent amount of buildup with Fairmont's playoff fate on the line, Midway won 61-6; the Raiders winning that game wasn't necessarily a surprise, but the blowout score was.

Now Robeson County gets its first collective look at the Raiders without star quarterback Wyatt Holland, who graduated last year. Midway has won three straight since an 0-2 start, including a 23-22 triumph in last week's conference opener against East Bladen, while Fairmont has lost four in a row after opening with a win.

Every previous Golden Tornadoes opponent has either been a larger school or a perennially-strong team; they should be more competitive this week as a result, but the Raiders will win in a close game.

Midway 28, Fairmont 22

Chris Stiles can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at cstiles@robesonian.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @StilesOnSports.