Daniels scores three times, defense shines for Pack
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
With Travis Daniels nursing a partially separated shoulder on the bench during the fourth quarter, all he could do was hope for the defense to make sure Washington kept the lead.
It did — and then some.
After Daniels ran wild in the first half, scrambling for 185 yards and three touchdowns to help give the Pam Pack a 28-0 lead, the Washington defense made sure that was more than enough. Washington went on to post a 30-7 victory over the Nash Central Bulldogs in Friday’s non-conference game at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium.
Daniels finished with 205 yards on 18 carries, toting the ball just two times in the second half. He now has 831 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.
It turns out the Pack (3-1) didn’t need Daniels in the late stages.
The defense held the Bulldog (2-3) in check for most of the game. Nash Central avoided the shutout when Justin Rollins hit Danny Allen on a slant that went 86 yards for a touchdown in the second half.
Defensive coordinator Jon Blank had to have been smiling after this one, as the defense forced four turnovers. Tony Turnage had two interceptions, Jamont Jones picked off one and Cody Cunningham recovered a fumble.
It was the third interception of the season for Jones.
The front line enjoyed a sack party as D.J. McKinney, Chase Tripp, Johnnie Smallwood, Justin Moore and friends caused havoc with Nash Central’s passing game.
Washington, which earned its first win over Nash Central in three tries, needed just 66 seconds to get on the scoreboard. On the second play from scrimmage, quarterback Austin Thompson pitched the ball to Daniels. The senior dropped the ball, but scooped it up quickly and then zipped past defenders for a 58-yard score.
Justin Meekins, who is now 18-of-19 on PATs this season, nailed the first of his four conversions for the early 7-0 lead.
After Turnage’s first interception, which he returned 18 yards and into Nash Central territory, the Pack struck again. This time it went to the air as Thompson hit Dakuan Spencer, who split two defenders to snag the ball, on a 12-yard scoring strike to make it 14-0.
Thompson was 6-of-10 for 49 yards and the touchdown. Spencer had three grabs for 20 yards.
Washington found the end zone again midway through the third quarter, taking advantage of a shanked 10-yard punt by Nash Central that left the Pack starting at the Bulldog 26-yard line. Daniels capped the four-play drive in nifty fashion. He took a pitch from Thompson, juked one defender, leaped over another and then darted into the end zone for a 13-yard score and a 21-0 lead.
Daniels struck again shortly before halftime. He took a direct snap and rumbled 72 yards before finally being dragged down at the Nash Central-1. Daniels bulled over from a yard out for his tenth score of the season and a 28-0 lead.
Nash Central, which got 62 yards rushing from Cameron Holloway and 58 from Eric Moore, scored on the big pass play to make it 28-7 late in the third.
Washington capped the scoring when Austin Evans sacked Rollins in the end zone for a safety.
Sawyer said the win should give his team some momentum heading into conference play, which starts Friday on homecoming night against D.H. Conley.
Nash Central Washington
10 First Downs 14
37-104 Rushes-Yards 45-211
109 Passing Yards 49
18-4-3 Pass-Comp-Int 10-6-0
1-10.0 Punting 5-31.0
4-1 Fumbles-Lost 2-0
4-35 Penalties 8-59
Nash Central 0 0 7 0 — 7
Washington 14 14 0 2 — 30
W — Travis Daniels 58 run (Justin Meekins kick), 1st, 10:54
W — Dakuan Spencer 12 pass from Austin Thompson (Meekins kick), 1st, 5:50
W — Daniels 13 run (Meekins kick), 2nd, 6:47
W — Daniels 1 run (Meekins kick), 2nd, 0:51
NC — Danny Allen 86 pass from Justin Rollins (Brad Scott kick), 3rd, 2:13
W — Safety, 4th, 2:02