Pack to take on Vikings|WHS to honor its seniors tonight

Published 12:23 am Friday, October 22, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES,, Sports Writer
One week after dropping its first Coastal Conference game of the year to Havelock, Washington bounced back with one of its strongest performances of the season as it blanked White Oak on the road 26-0.
The win not only upped the Pam Pack’s overall record back to .500. But elevated its Coastal Conference record to 3-1 and has it locked in tie for second place, breathing right down the neck of conference leaders Havelock’s.
Joining Washington at the No. 2 spot is South Central (5-3, 3-1) and tonight’s opponent D.H. Conley (3-5, 3-1) who is led by former Pam Pack coach Brian Paschal.
In his first year at D.H. Conley Paschal has done a tremendous job as his team broke a two-year long losing streak on Sept. 24 when it topped West Craven 28-14. Since then the Vikings have won two more games and worked their way into tie for second place.
Washington coach Sport Sawyer worked under Paschal when he was with the Pam Pack and credited him for a job well done with the Vikings.
“I coached with him for seven years and I have a lot of respect for him,” Sawyer said. “He works hard and gets a lot out of his players and that’s what he has done at Conley. He has those guys playing hard and aggressive. He is a good coach and I learned a lot from him. … I expect Conley to come in here and get after it. It’s a big game for both teams.”
Against White Oak last week, Washington went into halftime tied at 0-0 but was able to out-score the Vikings 26-0 in the second half.
Fullback Marquin Hill ran for touchdowns of four and 10 yards, quarterback Jimmy Williams rushed one from short range while tailback William Ellegor ripped off a 90-yarder.
Sawyer said the key to the second half explosion was the team’s ability to hang on to the ball along with a few halftime adjustments.
“Offensively we had a couple of fumbles in the first half that stopped drives but in the second half we didn’t do that,” Sawyer said.
“In the second half we did a little something that we have been messing around with and ran some jet sweeps (handoffs to a wide receiver in motion) and our guys got the edge and were able to use their speed to turn the corner and get some yards.”
Defensively, the Pam Pack got big efforts from MLB Jaquez Columbus, DL Kevin Chapman and Hill at defensive tackle. Sawyer also cited the secondary for its work in pitching the school’s first shutout of the season.
“I thought our guys really stepped up. On the defensive line guys like Kevin and Marquin came up big on a goal-line stand and made a couple of big plays,” Sawyer said. “The defense really stepped up and was able to keep the ball out of the end zone each time.”
Line play will play a huge role in tonight’s game as Conley runs a ground-based wing-T offense and Washington likes to rush the ball out of the I-formation.
“(Controlling the line) is big, both teams run the ball a lot and both teams play-action the ball a lot,” Sawyer said. “Who wins the game will be determined by turnovers and whoever owns the line of scrimmage and can move the chains and get first downs.”
Tonight’s game will also be the last one for the Pam Pack seniors, who will be honored before the start of tonight’s game. Sawyer said it has been a tremendous honor to coach this year’s group.
“They are some of the best young men on and off the field I have ever coached,” Sawyer said. “You hear nothing but good things about them in school from the teachers. It’s breast cancer awareness month and a couple of the boys have had family situations with cancer so the team has decided to wear pink socks to show their support for breast cancer awareness. They are thinking of more than football, they are thinking of their families and I respect that.”
WYFL Night
At tonight’s Pam Pack game it will also be Washington Youth Football Night. Any WYFL player wearing his jersey will be granted free admission as long as that player is accompanied by an adult. Regular admission is $7. WYFL coaches and players will be acknowledged on the field at halftime.