Pam Pack defense shooting for ‘goose eggs’
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
While senior linebacker Cody Cunningham said there might not be any stars on defense, the Washington Pam Pack squad is certainly playing like a bunch of all-pros.
The Pack defensive unit is a huge reason why the team is poised to win the Class 3-A portion of the 3-A/4-A Coastal Conference. A win at West Carteret on Friday night will give the Pack (7-3, 4-2) the top seed.
Washington is allowing just 10.5 points per game, which is tops in the Coastal Conference. It’s also sixth best out of the 97 3-A teams in the state and 27th best out of all 386 teams.“I’m very pleased with our team effort on defense,” Washington defensive coordinator Jon Blank said. “I feel like our guys play hard every time out — every down, every play, every game.
The Pack accomplished its goal Monday night, posting a 34-0 shutout of Havelock.
There were some unknowns heading into the season, but several players have stepped up for the Pack.
A handful of the defensive players also played on offense last year. This year, players like Cunningham and Tripp are strictly concentrating on defense.
The situation has worked out beautifully for the Pack. Washington has held five opponents to 8 points or less, including a pair of shutouts. The Pack’s other shutout came in a 35-0 victory over D.H. Conley. Twice this season, opponents have only scored via special teams.
That confidence isn’t lost on the players.
Washington head coach Sport Sawyer has been pleased with the work of his defensive coordinator and his players.
The wealth on defense has been spread around. Moore has 70 tackles from his linebacker spot. Jamont Jones leads the squad with six interceptions while Dakuan Spencer has picked off four passes.
Tripp has 15 tackles for loss, including a team-best eight quarterback sacks. McKinney has four sacks and a team-high four fumble recoveries.
McKinney said it’s a matter of pride when the Pack defense steps onto the field.
Being close on and off the field has helped the Pack hit its stride this year. The defense has a chance to record its fewest points in a season in years. Washington allowed just 139 points in 1997.