Pam Pack’s defense saves the day|Win Coastal Conference opener over Jacksonville

Published 8:08 pm Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sports Editor

Tony Turnage’s dazzling 61-yard interception return for a touchdown with just under five minutes remaining helped Washington overcome a sluggish offensive night. The score was just what the Pam Pack needed in a 13-2 victory over the Jacksonville Cardinals in Friday night’s Coastal Conference opener at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium.
“All I did was read the quarterback’s eyes and read the route,” said Turnage, who had two interceptions and scored both of Washington’s touchdowns. “I just jumped the route, caught it and wanted to score. I think that just gave us the intensity to keep it going.”
The win for Washington (3-2, 1-0) came on Walk of Fame night. Pam Pack coach Sport Sawyer was pleased to get the win, despite the offense producing just one score — which came on a 1-yard drive.
“You’ll take a win any time, especially in the conference,” Sawyer said. “This was definitely a defensive win for us. Offensively, we never got it going at all.”
The Pack defense forced six turnovers by the Cardinals (2-3, 0-1). Turnage had two interceptions, while Lindsey Harris and Ronnie Woolard also had picks. Woolard also recovered a fumble.
Woolard’s interception set Washington up for its first score. His 55-yard return set the Pack up at the Cardinal 1-yard line. Turnage bulled his way over for the score and, after a botched PAT, a 6-0 lead with 34 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Jacksonville, which missed a 30-yard field goal attempt with 10:30 to play, was driving into Washington territory late in the fourth quarter. However, Turnage’s interception return for a score turned the momentum back in the Pack’s favor.
Turnage intercepted another pass with just under two minutes remaining, but he was tackled in the end zone and the Cardinals were credited with a safety.
The Pack plays at West Craven next Friday night. Sawyer said his team has plenty to build on between now and then.
“We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to be a contender,” Sawyer said. “We need to work on our offensive line play.”