The time is nowPublished 5:40pm Thursday, November 14, 2013
For the second year in a row Washington will begin its postseason at home as the Pam Pack hosts Eastern Plains Conference rival North Pitt tonight at 7:30 p.m. in a first round matchup.
Washington (8-2), the Eastern Plains Conference champions, topped North Pitt, 22-14, earlier in the year en route to finishing the regular season with a perfect conference record and a No. 9 ranking in AP Poll.
Despite its success, the Pam Pack was given a No. 3 seed in the East Division of the 2-AA bracket, while Currituck (9-2), who had one conference loss on the year, was chosen by the NCHSAA to be the No. 2 seed.
What’s even more baffling is that Washington will kick off the postseason against the 14th-seeded Panthers (6-5), while No. 6 Bunn will play a 3-8 Greene Central team that was some how seeded three spots higher than North Pitt.
When asked about the seeding snub Washington coach Sport Sawyer took the high road saying, “I’m going to be politically correct and say that we’re happy about being a three seed. It will give us two home playoff games if we can win (tonight).”
Sawyer said as the playoffs begin he wants his team’s focus on the task at hand, not the seeding.
“I told our guys it doesn’t matter who we play or in what round, we just have to be ready to play some football,” Sawyer said.
The last time these two teams locked horns the Panthers held a 14-7 lead at halftime before Washington was able to outscore them 15-7 in the second half thanks to improved execution in its run game.
“We were able to hit the edge in the second half. We went outside on a few plays and then hit a guard trap up the middle,” Sawyer said. “(Markel) Spencer was able to hit two long runs and then our defense stopped the big plays in the second half.”
The Pam Pack will look to attack the Panthers behind the dynamic duo of 1,000-yard rushers Stevie Green and Spencer.
Spencer, a junior, finished the regular season with 1,469 yards and 13 touchdowns, while Green, a senior, gained 1,145 yards and scored 12 rushing touchdowns.
The Washington offense showed balance in its regular season finale, as sophomore QB Brodie West completed 5 of his 6 pass attempts for 106 yards and two TDs to blank North Johnston 40-0 and extend its winning streak to six.
“The other night I thought Brodie threw the ball really well and if we can get our passing game going I think that will open up the offense in the playoffs,” Sawyer said. “If our defense continues to stuff teams and be aggressive then I think we will start to peak, and this is the time you want to peak.”
That defense threw its first shutout of the season against North Johnston and is led by linebackers Brandon Jackson and Karim Topping, who lead Washington with 103 and 101 tackles, respectively, while Tarahje Burke has racked up a team-high eight sacks.