Pam Pack has punch on defense|Still ‘sluggish’ on offense after jamboree

Published 12:13 pm Friday, August 14, 2009

Staff Writer

With just over a week before the Pam Pack kick off the regular season with a home contest against North Pitt, Washington’s defense looks to be ages ahead of the offense.
While the Pam Pack offense struggled to get into the end zone against Pamlico County and Plymouth during Thursday’s football jamboree, the defense shut down the opposing offenses for most of the night.
“They got after it,” coach Sport Sawyer said about his defense.
The Washington coach was particularly encouraged by the play of his defensive line, including Marquin Hill and Brandon Lee.
“I think the speed of our defensive players will be a strength for us,” he said.
The Pam Pack defense’s first unit gave up few big gains during the alternating 10-play full contact scrimmages against the Vikings and Hurricanes. When Washington went up against Pamlico in a full-field, game-type situation scrimmage to close out the Jamboree, the first unit truly shined, hurrying and sacking the Hurricanes quarterback and forcing numerous fumbles recovered by the Pam Pack.
But the Washington offense couldn’t capitalize on the short field for most of the game-type scrimmage thanks to penalties, breakdowns on the line and turnovers of its own.
“We get a few positive plays, and then we fumble the ball,” coach said. “We’ve got to hold on to the ball if we do have positive plays. We had a bunch of turnovers tonight.”
Eventually, the Pam Pack managed to punch one in after a few nifty plays by standout athlete Dakuan Spencer and solid throws by sophomore quarterback Trey Harris.
“Offensively, we’re very, very sluggish right now,” Sawyer said. “We’ve got a lot of people trying to learn their assignments.”
The offense has only three returning starters — fullback Kashief Foreman, slot receiver Tony Turnage and Spencer. All three veterans shined at times throughout each scrimmage, but the Pam Pack’s inexperience on the offensive line showed.
During the jamboree, Washington’s starting center consistently botched snaps to Harris. The bad snaps often caused the protection to fall apart, leaving Harris to fend for himself.
“We’ve got to get our exchange from quarterback to center a lot better,” Sawyer said. “The timing is way off on that.”
The Washington coach said the snapping situation would be reassessed before the beginning of the season. In the meantime, the team will be holding a “Practice with the Pack” tonight from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.