Pack shuffles past Cards

Published 11:42 pm Friday, September 16, 2011

Washington quarterback Jimmy Williams (12) looks downfield as he attempts to pass during the Pam Pack’s 14-12 win over Jacksonville in its Coastal Conference opener on Friday at Washington High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Cold weather and steady rain was enough to make the Washington football players’ teeth chatter by the start of the game. It would be by the skin of those teeth in which the Pam Pack would hold on to top Jacksonville 14-12 in both teams’ Coastal Conference opener on Friday.
The Pam Pack (3-1, 1-0 jumped out to a 14-3 halftime lead, but penalties and turnovers allowed the Cardinals (1-4, 0-1) to pull within 14-12 in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville was poised to take the lead when kicker Corey Case lined up to attempt his second field goal of the day from 34 yards out, but the Washington defense stood tall and blocked his kick.
The rain rotated between a steady downfall and a light sprinkle, causing fumbles for both teams in what was not the prettiest game every played at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium. However, Washington coach Sport Sawyer was happy to get the win.
“To start out 1-0 in the conference is big,” Sawyer said. “Our guys fought for this game. You always want a big win, but you take a win however you can get it. The guys fought hard when we needed them the most.”
Washington took a lead on its first possession as it drove 85 yards down the field. That drive would end with quarterback Jimmy Williams scampering from 12 yards out to put the Pack up 6-0 at the 6:15 mark.
Jacksonville would retaliate with a scoring drive that ended with a Case 30-yard field goal to cut Washington’s lead in half with 3:35 remaining in the first quarter.
The score would stay that way until the Pack punched one in right before halftime. After receiving a punt at its own 36-yard line, the Pack offense worked its way downfield behind a ground attack led by Williams and Keane Graham. The drive would end with Graham scoring from four yards out.
After Jack Rodman caught a pass from Williams for a two-point conversion, Washington would take a 14-3 lead into halftime.
During the break, Washington honored former star athletes Marquin Hill, Mark Gray, Evelyn Ewing and the 1951-52 basketball team by inducting them into the Washington Walk of Fame.
After halftime, the Graham TD would prove to be the last time the Pack would score as the team constantly shot itself in the foot with fumbles and penalties. The good news for Washington was that the Cardinals were doing the same thing, only to a lesser extent.
Jacksonville scored its lone TD in the third quarter when Jermaine Linton ran off tackle for a 61-yard touchdown to make it a 14-10 game midway through the third quarter.
After the Washington defense forced and recovered a fumble, the offense could not move the ball and was forced to punt. That resulted in Jacksonville’s second blocked punt of the game, only this time the team recovered it in the end zone to score a safety and close within 14-12 of Washington with 6:16 left in the fourth.
After the safety, the Cards got the ball back and were forced to attempt a field goal from 38 yards out, however, another Pack penalty brought Case five yards closer to his target. It didn’t matter. The Washington defense rose to the occasion and was able to block Case’s kick to save the game.
“It was a sloppy game,” Sawyer said. “But, at the end when it counted the most they fought to get the win. It wasn’t pretty but it was a win.”

Jacksonville    3    0    7    2    —    12
Washington    6    8    0    0    —    14
Scoring summary
W — Jimmy Williams 12 run (kick failed), 6:15, 1st.
J — Corey Case 30-yard field goal, 3:35, 1st.
W — Keane Graham 4 run (Jack Rodman two points), 1:08.
J — Jermaine Linton 61 run (Case kick), 7:58, 3rd.
J — Jacksonville fumble recovery in the end zone, safety, 6:16, 4th.