Pack getting boost from special teamsPublished 6:51pm Thursday, October 3, 2013
All season long Washington coach Sport Sawyer has preached the importance of specials teams and last week it paid off during the Pam Pack’s 47-6 win over Riverside.
A Jamond Ebron 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the second quarter ignited a 41-point rally that spanned over two quarters and helped up Washington’s record to 3-2.
“Jamond played for us last year as a sophomore but he’s developed into one of our best athletes on the field,” Sawyer said. “He plays hard, he hits hard and he’s really working on his returns.”
Aside from his kickoff return for a touchdown, Ebron had a couple of key punt returns during a pivotal third quarter that helped set up some quick scoring drives.
“I liked our special teams play Friday night,” Sawyer said. “I feel like against West Craven our special teams wasn’t as good as it should have been, but this past Friday night I felt like our special teams was good. It got us a score and good field position, and that really made a difference.”
Washington outscored Riverside 34-0 in the third quarter as each side of the football worked hand-and-hand during the run.
The defense, highlighted by a key interception at the start of the second half by Karim Topping and a pickoff return for a touchdown by Myron Brooks, routinely forced Riverside to punt, while the special teams play ensured the offense would get a short field.
“The offense and defense and special teams all seamed to feed off each other,” Sawyer said. “One play would happen, then the other group would follow up with a good play. It was good to see the team get some momentum there.”
The Pam Pack is hoping to get the same kind of machine-like production again tonight when it takes travels to Kinston (2-3) for its first matchup with the Vikings since 2004.
“It’s been a while since we played them but they have good athletes and they get after it,” Sawyer said. “We expect a good game.”
The Vikings, who will play in the same postseason bracket as the Pam Pack, is coming off a 59-7 loss to J.H. Rose and runs a 3-4 scheme on defense and a spread attack on offense.
“They throw the ball quite often and run a little option at times,” Sawyer said. “They’re an athletic group. This is a game that we are looking at where down the road we could see them again possibly in the playoffs.”
With that in mind, Sawyer is looking for his team to get off to a fast start. The Pam Pack waited until it was down 21 points before rallying past D.H. Conley. Against West Craven, the Pam Pack started off flat and never found its rhythm, while last week Washington didn’t hit its stride until the third quarter.
“I thought the first two games of the season we came out strong against Havelock and Tarboro, but ever since then I think we’ve started flat,” Sawyer said. “We waited to play against Conley and we didn’t come out at all against Craven. I give Riverside credit for playing well in the first half, but we have to come out stronger.”