Pack ready to buck heads with the Rams|WHS looks to keep conference record perfect

Published 9:39 pm Friday, October 8, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
After getting off to a bumpy start, Washington has appeared to iron out some of its inconsistencies as it pieced together its first winning streak of the season when it topped West Craven 20-14 on Monday.
Washington headed into conference play with a 1-3 record, but was able to grind out a road win over Jacksonville 27-21 in its conference opener then it survived a hectic, rain-filled weekend to rally past the Eagles on Monday.
Those two wins have the Pam Pack (3-3, 2-0) tied with South Central (4-2, 2-0) and tonight’s opponent Havelock (4-2, 2-0) for a share of first place in the Coastal Conference.
While the Pam Pack and the Rams duke it out for first place in Washington, the Falcons will be hosting West Craven.
There was a lot to like about Washington’s latest win. There were good performance on both sides of the ball and the Pack, who trailed 14-7 at halftime, showed a lot of heart and energy in the second half. Washington coach Sport Sawyer and his staff made some key adjustments throughout the game and were able to deliver a win on the night in which they inducted four new members into the Washington Walk of Fame.
“It was a good win for the guys, West Craven is always a good opponent,” Sawyer said. “I think our guys played hard the whole game. We were down 14-7 at halftime and to come back and shut them out in the second half was huge.”
With star running back William Ellegor sitting out the first half with a toe injury, the Pam Pack struggled to consistently moved the ball on offense while the defense had trouble stopping the Eagles dual threat quarterback Demetres Abrams.
However, in the second half Ellegor took the field and the Pack made some personnel changes that allowed the team to score on its first two possessions of the second half.
On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Jon Blank came up with some maneuvers of his own to keep Abrams in check.
“In the second half we brought up our intensity both defensively and offensively,” Sawyer said. “We put some two tight end sets in and we were able to do some play-action. Defensively, we moved Marquin Hill to the outside over and our secondary played over the top pretty good the whole game, but moving Marquin to defensive end was pretty big for us.”
Ellegor, who is suffering from what is commonly referred to as “turf toe,” is expected to be a game-time decision on tonight.
“He played hard the other night and he played good, but he is still bothered by it and I’m not sure if he will start or not,” Sawyer said. “Right now, it’s homecoming night and I know he wants to play but it’s still tender. We’ll just have to see, kind of like we did on Monday night.”
According to, Ellegor is averaging 119 yards per game for a total of 595 yards, while tallying 10 TDs. If Ellegor can’t go, Keane Graham is expected to take his place as he did on Monday.
The running game will be a key factor for Washington as it takes on a Havelock team that likes to air it out on offense. Ideally, the Pack would love to be able to control the ball and keep it out of the hands of the Rams’ offense.
“They’re a spread team. I think they threw for over 300 yards last week ( a 48-28 win over D.H. Conley),” Sawyer said. “They like to throw the ball, (coach) Jim Bob Bryant has done a really good job with them, they play hard. We are looking for them to spread the ball around and find the open receiver.”
Washington has caught a small break however, as Rams star quarterback Danny Webster will not be on the field tonight, or any night for the rest of this season. Webster, an East Carolina recruit, played the first game of the season and then quit the team for personal reasons.
Regardless, Sawyer said his defense will need to bring its “A” game tonight.
“We have to make sure we cover our zones and keep big plays to a minimum,” Sawyer said. “If we do that we be okay.”
Rams quarterback Garrett Crowe is averaging 190 passing yards per game as D.H. Conley has four receivers with 10 or more catches this season.