Pack backs look sharp|Washington RBs impress during scrimmage

Published 10:33 am Saturday, August 14, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Washington’s seventh-year coach Sport Sawyer promised his offense would have some new wrinkles during the preseason, and they were on display Friday night as the Pam Pack scrimmaged Ayden-Grifton.
Last year, the Pack ran an offense heavily rooted in spread ideology, but on Friday Washington put its quarterback under center for a majority of the first half of its scrimmage. Washington bounced around from I formations to wingback sets, each of which were extremely effective early on.
Running back William Ellegor scored two touchdowns on runs of over 40 yards, while Derrick Cannon also turned in a long TD run to ignite the Pack offense.
“I liked the way our running backs were hitting the holes and going downhill,” Sawyer said. “I think some of our offensive linemen were firing up the field; I think our line is working hard.”
While the running game looked solid, the passing attack still needed some work. Sawyer said he will use a lot of run formations this season, but also noted that a good portion of the offense will be the same as last season’s shotgun-heavy attack.
“I like the downhill stuff because I think the backs we have right now are hitting the hole hard,” Sawyer said. “But again we have to pass the ball better and we have to work on that as a team. If (defenses) put enough people in the box it’s going to be hard to run.”
Johnny Broadway and Jimmy Williams each took turns at quarterback on Friday and Sawyer said neither one of them is yet to claim the starting job.
“Tonight we didn’t really complete many passes, we didn’t really throw the ball that well,” Sawyer said. “But at the same time, we didn’t throw a whole lot. We have been focusing a lot on running, so that’s something we have to work on. As far as anybody stepping up, they are really both neck-and-neck and we really have to watch them continue to battle.”
The Pam Pack will open its season up next week against North Pitt, and Sawyer said he has not set a timetable for when he will name a starter.
“We really have to look at the film and watch how they have done,” Sawyer said. “We may give them a week or two (before we name permanent starter). The main thing is to get everything together over these next five weeks of non-conference play before we get into conference games. So we are really not rushing the quarterback situation.”
The Pack defense looked good early on in the scrimmage, but for both teams the exhibition seemed to be more offense-friendly. Sawyer said that while he was happy with a lot of things his team did Friday, there were a few items it needed to work on.
“On the offensive side we need to work on our passing,” Sawyer said. “I would have also liked to see more intensity out of the whole team. Football is an intense game and we need to come out with more intensity.”