Rested Pack ready to roll|Washington set to battle Goldsboro

Published 4:57 pm Friday, September 17, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Washington is hoping that a win plus a week off will be a winning combination tonight when it hosts Goldsboro tonight at 7 p.m.
After falling to North Pitt 28-15 in its season opener and Tarboro 54-17 the week after, the Pam Pack played its first home game of the year against Northside and rolled to a 40-0 victory.
Following the win over the Panthers, Washington (1-2) headed into its bye week where self improvement was the main theme.
“We had a few guys who were banged up so it gave them a chance to heal a little bit,” Washington coach Sport Sawyer said. “Plus, we were looking at different people at different positions and trying to get them more comfortable. It was a good time to take a breath and relax a little bit.”
Sawyer also used the extra time to work on special teams play, most notably kick/punt return coverage.
“We did a lot of specials teams,” Sawyer said. “Field position is a crucial thing in games and we were giving up a lot of field position on special teams so we tried to drill them on that.”
Sawyer is hoping to see improvement in that area tonight when the team takes on Goldsboro (1-2, 1-A, Carolina Conference).
“They are a physical team and an athletic team,” Sawyer said of the Cougars. “They used to be in our conference a few years ago but now they are down to 1-A. They have played one 4-A team and two 3-A teams; they have played a tough schedule. So far this year they played New Hanover (lost 27-6), Eastern Wayne (lost 23-20) and C.B. Aycock (won 35-13).”
For the Pam Pack, tonight’s game has added importance because it is the final one before the team begins Coastal Conference play next week.
“This is a big game for us because we want to make sure we got people in the right positions before we start our conference run,” Sawyer said.
The game will pit two teams against each other that feature a run-heavy offense as Washington will look to strike behind running backs William Ellegor and Marquin Hill, and the Cougars will try their best to give the Pam Pack defense a steady dose of their running backs.
“They run the wing-T and will also run an I back field,” Sawyer said. “We are looking to see if our linebackers step up and make tackles. … We have had some issues this year but (defensive coordinator (Jon) Blank and his staff have been working hard and so have his players. This will be a good test for us going into the conference schedule because anything we need to fix we want to have done after this week.”
From an offensive standpoint, Sawyer said there are a few things his team must do to get a win tonight.
“We have to limit the turnovers again and have (quarterback) Jimmy Williams continue to improve on throwing the ball,” Sawyer said. “Each week he has taken steps forward throwing the ball … We are looking to increase our passing game. Our running backs are running and hitting the holes hard but still have to be able to throw the ball.”