Pack shows potentialPublished 7:37pm Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Pam Pack’s season got off to a soggy start but there was a lot of sunshine to be found in its 28-6 loss to Havelock last Friday.
Facing the defending two-time state champs and their superstar running back Derrell Scott, the Washington defense stood up to the Rams running game, limiting them to 60 rushing yards.
Sophomore first-year starting quarterback Brodie West looked comfortable behind center as he completed seven of his 14 pass attempts for 89 yards, while junior RB Markel Spencer gashed Havelock for 139 yards and a touchdown on 27 attempts.
“Opening up the season against Havelock was a big test for us,” Washington coach Sport Sawyer said. “Defensively we have a lot of returners and offensively we have more young people, but I thought both sides play hard. If we make a few plays here and there, there could have been a different outcome to the game.”
Perhaps the most promising aspect of Friday’s game was the performance of the defense as the veteran group proved that yards will be hard to come by for upcoming opponents.
“I liked the way our front eight guys stopped the run,” Sawyer said. “In the playoff game (last year against Havelock) they were able to run all over us and they weren’t able to do that this past Friday night.”
Linebacker Brandon Jackson led the team with 10 tackles, while Jamond Ebron and Henry Corey each had eight.
That defense will be in for another big challenge tonight as the Pam Pack (0-1, Eastern Plains) will take on defending 2-A state runners up Tarboro, who has since been shifted to the 1-A Two Rivers Conference.
The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and it will also be Little Pack Cheerleading Night.
The Vikings (1-0), who have won three state titles in the past 10 years, are coming off a 21-0 victory over Nash Central and Sawyer knows his team will have its hands full tonight.
“Washington and Tarboro have been playing forever and they will run their T offense right at you and give you some misdirection,” Sawyer said. Sawyer said they key to tonight’s game lies in how well the Pam Pack defense can stand up to the Vikings ground attack.
“I think our front eight again will be important,” Sawyer said. “This is what they’ve been waiting for. It’s time to go.
“Last week they did a pretty good job. We let up a couple of passes on the edge that I wish we defended better, but overall they did a good job. We expect them to rise up again this week and hold that rushing attack down.”
In order to keep the Vikings from running wild Washington must contain the edge.
“Defensive end play is going to be big,” Sawyer said. “If our defense ends can contain and play their assignments that will be key.”