Pack to battle Pats

Published 9:44 pm Thursday, October 25, 2012

Washington football coach Sport Sawyer (center) and the Pam Pack will face West Carteret on the road tonight in both team’s regular season finale. (WDN Photo/Ashley Vansant)

The Washington football team will play its regular season finale on the road tonight against West Carteret, with the hopes that a win can bring the Pam Pack back home.
Washington (7-3, 4-2) heads into tonight’s game locked in a tie for second place with West Craven (6-4, 4-2) in the Coastal Conference standings. Though the Eagles beat Washington in their head-to-head matchup, the Pam Pack can jump over them in the standings if it beats West Carteret and West Craven falls to conference leaders Havelock, who boast a 9-1 (6-0) record and is ranked third in the state.
If Washington can wrap up the regular season in second place it is expected that it would host a playoff game for the first time since 2008.
“We had goals of taking first place, but if we can take second that’s the next best thing. Right now we just want to keep getting better and better,” Washington football coach Sport Sawyer said. “We’re really starting to hit our stride a little bit and we’re very excited.”
Momentum is clearly on Washington’s side right now as it has won three straight games, with its last one being a 40-14 victory over South Central.
Every week sophomore RB Markell Spencer’s ankle appears to be mending and last Friday he and quarterback Jimmy Williams formed a potent 1-2 rushing attack that combined for 291 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
“Markell is a downhill runner and if he gets an open hole he’s gone,” Sawyer said. “Jimmy’s just a special athlete, he’s got quick feet and great vision and if he gets some space he’s gone too.”
Making that space has been Washington offensive line that has progressed each week.
“The o-linemen: Montgomery McClure, Dylan Cutler, Avery Respass, Caleb Jones, Matt Wescott and Justin Balance and those guys are making holes and giving the guys some creases to hit and we’re picking it up right now,” Sawyer said.
Defensively, the Pam Pack has smothered opposing team’s ground game thanks to the up-the-gut defense provided by run-stuffing DT’s Baylone Guilford (6-1, 305) and Travon Wallace (6-1, 280).
“Those guys are able to fight inside and hold their own and keep the line of scrimmage,” Sawyer said. “Outside linebacker Karim Topping had a great game last week. Him and Jamond Ebron are doing a good job on the outside and (linebackers) Jaquez Columbus and Tarahje Burke are doing good on the inside.”
West Carteret has lost three of its last four games and got topped 67-13 by Havelock last Friday.
The Patriots feature a run-heavy offense and a multiple defense and Sawyer said the key to tonight’s matchup is for his team to keep its eye on the prize.
“We just have to make sure we’re focused,” Sawyer said. “The guys are excited about what we’re doing. We’re 7-3 and have played some decent football and I just want to make sure we stay focused. That’s the big thing this week.”