One last time

Published 10:05 pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Washington football team has 13 seniors on its roster and tonight they will play their final home game against Coastal Conference rival D.H. Conley. (WDN Photo/Ashley Vansant)

The Washington football team arrives at Week 9 fresh off a solid 34-0 victory over White Oak and locked in a two-way tie for third place in the Coastal Conference standings with West Craven.
The Pam Pack (5-3, 2-2) has put forth some impressive outings this season, but lacks a marquee victory. Tonight, WHS is looking to change that as it takes on and a D.H. Conley (5-3, 1-3) team that previously sat in second place in the standings until the NCHSAA vacated three games (two victories), on Thursday leaving the Vikings in three-way tie for fourth place.
Despite the recent ruling, Conley is still viewed as a top-notch team and the Pam Pack are heading into tonight’s matchup looking to prove it can play on the Vikings’ level.
“We’ve played some good teams like Tarboro and Havelock and we’ve come up short,” Washington coach Sport Sawyer said. “But, we have to get us a signature win. Last week was a must-win for the season, but this is a chance to get a signature win. Tonight we find out if we are going to go out and be an average team or are we going to be a pretty good team.”
Conley made headlines this week when it was announced that star player Maleek Gorham had been ruled ineligible by the NCHSAA as of Oct. 3 due to residency issues. The ruling is being contested and just how it will effect the Vikings’ record in the future is uncertain.
The Pam Pack is refusing to worry about issues on the other end of the sideline and enter its Senior Night matchup with Conley focused on trying to deliver a big time win for the 13 players who could be playing in their final game at J.G. “Choppy Wagner” Stadium.
“These seniors have worked hard for the past few years. We’ve been through some ups and downs with injuries and what not,” Sawyer said. “Again, during there time here we have been lacking a signature victory and this could be the one that they will remember and one that sets us apart from what we’ve been doing. It’s a big game.”
The Pam Pack gave a big effort last Friday as it blanked White Oak 34-0 behind a stellar effort from senior QB Jimmy Williams who ran for two touchdowns, threw for another and caught a 52-yard scoring strike from Patrick Thompson.
“He had the cycle,” Sawyer said. “I can’t recall a player ever doing that while I’ve been here, that’s pretty rare.”
Defensively, Washington was near flawless as recorded its third shutout of the season.
“We have a pretty good linebacking crew in Jamond Ebron, Karim Topping, Tarahje Burke and Jaquez Columbus,” Sawyer said. “The defensive line gets better each week. Guys like Baylone Guilford, Travon Wallace, E.J. Peartree and Cory Grady have been pretty good.”
Columbus, a senior leads the team in tackles with 88 and four sacks and is trailed by juniors Guilford (45) and Burke (43).
D.H. Conley is coached by former Pam Pack coach Brian Paschal, who Sawyer served under at the start of his coaching career.
“He’s always been nice to me and been respectful and I learned a lot of football from him early in my career,” Sawyer said.
The Vikings run a wing-T offense and play a lot of cover 2 on defense and Sawyer said his team will have its hands full tonight.
“He’s got his guys playing hard,” Sawyer said. “They run the wing-T very sound. They block well and run hard and their defense is playing really well right now.”