Pack faces Patriots on Senior Night

Published 8:50 am Friday, November 7, 2008

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Austin Thompson, Chase Tripp and 16 senior classmates know tonight will be an emotional one. They also know what’s at stake when the Washington Pam Pack tangles with the West Carteret Patriots at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium. The Pack will honor its 18 seniors prior to the regular-season finale, which kicks off at 7 p.m.
Washington (6-4, 4-2) is currently tied with New Bern for third place in the Coastal Conference. West Craven (6-0) leads Havelock (5-1) by one game. Those two teams play for the conference championship tonight. A Washington win and a Havelock loss would leave the two times tied for second place in the conference among the Class 3-A schools. The Pack owns the tiebreaker by virtue of a 21-14 win over the Rams last week.
The Pack will know whether they’ll play at home or be on the road for the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association state playoffs when the pairings are released late Saturday afternoon. Washington will be looking for its first playoff victory since 1999.
Whether they are home or away, the Pack will lean on its seniors just as it’s done most of the season. Along with Thompson and Tripp, the other seniors who will be honored tonight are David Tyson, Gil Broadway, Justin Meekins, Mike Moore, Xeavier Ernul, Michael Godley, Darius Sneed, Josh Stone, Curtis Credle, Desmond Griffin, Johnnie Smallwood, Jamelle Keyes, Melvin Spruill, Jarees Griffin, Brooke Turnage and Cedrik Summers.
Thompson, who has completed 112-of-190 (58.9 percent) pass attempts for 1,613 yards and thrown 17 touchdown passes, is anticipating a special evening.
Sawyer, 30-28 in five years, is hoping for a fourth straight win over West Carteret (3-7, 1-5). The Pack, which holds a 15-12-1 lead over the Patriots in the series, has won in convincing fashion in the previous three meetings — 47-10 in 2007, 31-7 in 2006 and 40-21 in 2005. West Carteret’s last victory was a 34-16 nod in 2004.
While West Carteret has struggled in recent years, Sawyer is expecting a tough game. The Patriots lost 63-16 to New Bern last week despite rushing for 378 yards.
Jeremy Wilson ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Patriots, while Chase Chapman added 136 yards on the ground. Mason Gomola chipped in with 81 yards.
The Pack will likely be without freshman fullback Kaschief Foreman (369 yards rushing, three TDs), who suffered a possible concussion last week. That will mean more carries for juniors Tony Turnage (421 yards, TD) and Dakuan Spencer (281 yards, 3 TDs).
Spencer leads Washington with 36 receptions for 576 yards and nine scores, while Turnage has added 17 grabs for 302 yards and three touchdowns. Other top receivers are Mike Moore (35 catches, 416 yards, four TDs) and Godley (20 catches, 307 yards, 2 TDs).
At halftime of tonight’s game, players from the Community Football League will be recognized.