Stepping Up: Pam Pack back on track
Published 5:11 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Washington traveled to Farmville Central almost a week ago. It was just past the halfway point of the football season. The Pam Pack had tried six times and came up short each time.
It had come close. It scratched and clawed its way back into a game at Roanoke Rapids. It came back from a 26-0 deficit, only to lose by one possession. A week later, its defense shutout Kinston for 40 minutes, but the offense couldn’t capitalize in the 12-0 loss. Then, in Washington’s non-conference finale, it fell 17-14 to Plymouth.
Even for a winless club, things didn’t look so bleak. Washington had proven at different points in those three games that it had the tools to win football games. It just had to put it all together.
The Pam Pack did just that at Farmville Central, and did so in its biggest game of the season. It was each team’s 2-A Eastern Plains Conference opener. The defense came together for a consistent performance after so many glimpses of brilliance this season. Nazzir Hardy and Rontavion Floyd each had an interception. Mark Halbert led the team with 19 tackles (six solo), and three other Pam Pack defenders had at least 10 stops.
The offense, led by quarterback Frederick Holscher and running back Suae Poe, provided the much-needed finishing touch. Poe scored first and last for the Pam Pack, showing his explosiveness with runs of 63 and 70 yards for touchdowns. Holscher punched in a 2-yard score of his own to give Washington a 14-0 advantage — its largest of the season — at the point.
It all resulted in a 21-10 win over the Jaguars. Just like that, Washington has a successful season in reach. Regardless of the winless non-conference slate, the winning start to the league stretch is the right step toward the ultimate goal of a conference championship.
The key now is the follow up. The aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has made it tough for teams in the area to get out on the practice field, and has erased the entire week’s athletic schedules. Washington will need physical and mental toughness to keep the ball rolling.
One has to believe that the sweet taste of its first victory is still fresh in the mouth of the Pam Pack. That shouldn’t subside any time soon, and Washington can use it to help retain all the momentum it gained last Friday.
Up ahead are beatable teams in Southwest Edgecombe and North Johnston. The Cougars, who were scheduled to travel to Washington on Friday prior to all the flooding, drudged their way to the fourth round of the playoffs a year ago. They’re only 2-5 this season, and one of those wins came against a one-win North Pitt team.
North Johnston is 4-3 on the season, but is on a two-game skid in which it has been outscored 48-6.
It was a tough first half of the season for Washington. As the losses piled up, coaches and players alike remained optimistic about both the way they were playing and what was still left to accomplish.
And there’s still a long way to go before the end of the season, but, at the moment, it appears the ship is on the right course.