Friday Football Preview: Win or go home for Pam Pack

Published 4:24 pm Thursday, November 10, 2016


Location: Washington

Time: 7:30 p.m.

The playoffs haven’t started yet, but Washington takes the field at “Choppy” Wagner Stadium Friday evening with everything on the line. The Pam Pack concludes its regular season when it hosts Southwest Edgecombe at 7:30 p.m.

A win will guarantee the Pam Pack a share of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference championship and a spot in the playoffs. There’s no way into the playoffs without a portion of the title, though.

The Cougars have a similar objective. By beating Washington, they would tie North Johnston for first in the league. However, with four wins on the season, they have a chance to make the playoffs regardless of Friday’s outcome.

Southwest Edgecombe’s three conference wins came against the same teams Washington beat in its first three league outings: Farmville Central, Beddingfield and North Pitt. The Cougars won just one non-conference game — a 27-20 decision at Bertie on Sept. 16.

The Cougars and Pam Pack share a non-conference opponent in Tarboro. The Vikings blanked both teams.

Southwest Edgecombe graduated the lethal backfield duo of Marcus Williams and Keanan Williams. The former led the team with 2,379 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns, while the latter chipped in another 1,098 yards and a dozen scores.

Keshon Edwards isn’t quite as threatening as those two, but he’s certainly still a concern for the Pam Pack defense. He has 754 rushing yards in nine games this season, and three others have over 300 yards on the ground, too.

Washington was able to hold Marcus Williams to 144 yards and a touchdown in a 53-13 spanking of the Cougars last season. Even so, it may find it tough to contain Southwest Edgecombe’s depleted backfield this season. The visitors bring with them six linemen listed at 260 pounds or heavier, and five of those six are upperclassmen.

The Pam Pack has been able to use its athleticism to circumvent the size differential up front.

The boys will have to take it up a notch on the offensive front. The line will be without the services of senior Austin O’Neal. They’ll have to work hard to counter the size opposite of them so as to provide running room.

Suae Poe took five handoffs and scurried for 51 yards and a touchdown last year against the Cougars. This year, he comes into the game with a team-best 880 yards. He and his fellow running backs have an aerial wrinkle to the offense that it didn’t have last season. Matt Black, Nazzir Hardy and Drew Ferguson are all capable targets for quarterback Frederick Holscher.

Holscher will need to be mentally sharp for the Pam Pack offense to fire on all cylinders. He threw two interceptions last time out, and has struggled with getting sacked all season. When he’s on his game, though, he can make big plays. Washington will need a few to extend its season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in “Choppy” Wagner Stadium. Senior night festivities will take place during pregame. Youth football players and coaches will be recognized during halftime.