Pam Pack uses big second half to win opener|Spencer, Harris have two touchdowns apiece

Published 1:33 pm Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sports Editor

Trey Harris scored two touchdowns in his Pam Pack debut, and the Washington defense pitched a “goose egg.” It wasn’t pretty at times, but the Pack won its season opener Friday night, shutting down North Pitt 27-0 at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium.
After a lackluster and mistake-filled first half, the Pack (1-0) turned things around in the second half and pulled away from the Panthers, changing a 7-0 lead into the 27-0 finale.
“Some of the guys were actually dragging at halftime,” Washington head coach Sport Sawyer said. “We challenged them and told them it was four quarters of football. They stepped up and did a good job.”
It was the fifth straight win in a season opener for Washington, all coming at the expense of North Pitt (0-1).
That came despite 11 penalties (for 94 yards) and nine fumbles (four lost) by the Pam Pack.
“We did make a lot of mistakes,” Sawyer said. “There were a lot of balls on the ground, which we definitely cannot do, but the guys didn’t hang their heads. I like that because that’s showing some maturity.”
Dakuan Spencer, who scored four touchdowns in Washington 33-12 win over North Pitt in last year’s opener, had two more Friday night. He got the scoring started with a halfback, 51-yard scoring strike to Tony Turnage (two catches, 83 yards).
“That felt good,” Spencer said. “We’ve been working on that.”
Washington was forced to settle for that 7-0 lead, which included the first of three Johnny Broadway PATs, at halftime. The Pack had three turnovers, including two lost fumbles inside the North Pitt 13-yard line, in the first two quarters.
Washington wouldn’t need any more points thanks to a solid defensive effort. The Pack held the Panthers to nine first downs and 93 yards of total offense.
“Every week we make it a goal of getting the ‘goose egg,’” Washington defensive coordinator Jon Blank said. “We kept that up on the sideline all night.”
Spencer, who led Washington with 92 yards rushing on 12 carries, gave the Pack a 13-0 lead late in the third quarter. The senior, who also had one catch for 7 yards, accounted for 45 yards of the 79-yard drive.
Kashief Foreman (67 yards on 11 carries) added 31 yards on the drive. The Panthers also got doses of William Ellegor (33 yards on three carries) and Harris (61 yards on 13 carries) on the drive.
“We have a lot of weapons,” Spencer said. “It’s not going to be a one-man show.”
Sawyer, who also gave the ball to Turnage (15 yards on four carries), Darnell Windley (32 yards on three carries) and Lindsey Harris (12 yards on three carries), likes the versatility of his backfield. However, the Pack coach wants to see his team be able to open it up more.
Harris clicked on 4 of 7 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown.
“I think we have a lot of running backs,” Sawyer said. “But, we have to be able to throw the ball. The offensive line did a good job of blocking up front, but we have to be able to pass the ball a little bit.”
Harris threw his first TD toss as a Pam Pack shortly after Spencer’s touchdown run. The sophomore bobbled the snap from center, scooped it up, avoided a rush and hit a diving Brandon Price in the end zone for a 7-yard score and a 20-0 lead.
The touchdown was set up thanks to a Josh Brown interception.
After Byron Hopkins recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the Pack was back in business. Harris capped the short drive with a 1-yard plunge and a 27-0 advantage.
The smiling sophomore was pleased he was able to win his first game as the Pack quarterback.
“It feels good,” Harris said. “It feels like I led my team to a victory. They helped me lead them to a victory.
“There were a little bit of nerves early, but I had to shake it off and play football. We knew we could beat these guys.”
Sawyer was proud of his young quarterback.
“He did some very good reads,” Sawyer said. “For the first game, I think he had some jitters, but he did a very good job for us.”
The Pack plays host to the Tarboro Vikings in next Friday night’s annual Victory Bell Bowl.
North Pitt Washington
9 First Downs 22
25-15 Rushes-Yards 49-312
78 Passing Yards 76
21-8-2 Pass-Comp-Int 10-5-1
2-35.0 Punting 1-27.0
4-3 Fumbles-Lost 9-4
3-25 Penalties 11-94
North Pitt 0 0 0 0 — 0
Washington 7 0 13 7 — 27
Scoring Summary
W – Dakuan Spencer 51 pass to Tony Turnage (Johnny Broadway kick), 3:21, 1st
W – Spencer 10 run (kick failed), 3:56, 3rd
W – Trey Harris 7 pass to Brandon Price (Broadway kick), 2:48, 3rd
W – Harris 1 run (Broadway kick), 11:56, 4th