Washington blows past North Lenoir, 45-12

Published 11:57 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

Fans in “Choppy” Wagner Stadium had to do a double take early in Friday’s game. Not because North Lenoir struck first, but because it was Terrance Copper Jr. that found the end zone. His father — former East Carolina and NFL receiver Terrance Copper — is one of the most decorated players to come through the Washington football program.

Copper had two touchdowns, but an emotional Pam Pack squad rallied around senior center Ethan Cooper, whose father was honored at halftime for his battle with ALS. It thrived on turnovers and explosive runs by Hykeem Ruffin to secure its second win of the season, 45-12, and first in the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference.

WATCH: Coach Jon Blank talks about the win

“To get this one was huge, and to kind of run away with it the way we did was amazing,” head coach Jon Blank said. Washington has let a few games slip away in past weeks. The 45-point output was the most since scoring 53 at Southwest Edgecombe on Oct. 16, 2015.

Washington deferred the opening kick off to the visitors, but the Hawks muffed the kick and allowed the Pam Pack to get started 32 yards from the end zone. It went three-and-out on that opening possession. Copper cashed in for a 6-0 lead, but it was short lived. Junior Ka’ci Foreman would tear through the Hawks’ defense for a 23-yard score. Hunter Hall’s point-after kick gave Washington a lead it would never relinquish.

“Ka’ci ran like a man tonight. That’s what we’ve been waiting for out of him,” Blank said of the first-year varsity running back. “He’s got a lot of confidence. … To me, Foreman was going to be our guy, and Hykeem has really stepped up.”

The Pam Pack quickly took a stranglehold of the game. After its defense forced North Lenoir three-and-out, Ruffin plowed through would-be tackles for an 86-yard touchdown.

North Lenoir fumbled the ball away two plays later. After a gain of 22 from Ruffin, Foreman grounded the Hawks with a 42-yard touchdown to give Washington a 21-6 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.

North Lenoir hung around until the second half. Quarterback Michael Pollard connected with Temple commit Aaron Jarman for a pickup of 24 that positioned Copper for a 25-yard touchdown.

“We knew they were going to run a lot of what we call the buzz sweep,” Blank said. “They ran it tonight for a lot of yards, but it didn’t culminate in a lot of points. We kind of played a bend, but don’t break philosophy against that. … We were very concerned about the deep passing game they have.”

After holding the Washington offense, the Hawks got the ball at their 25-yard line with 2:41 before halftime, but gave it right back away.

The Pam Pack got the ball to start the third quarter. Consecutive 15-yard runs by Foreman helped Washington march right down the field. Ruffin finished the short series by scoring from 12 yards away.

North Lenoir looked to the air as the game began to slip away, but Tyshawn Roberson made a breakup on fourth-and-goal to force a turnover on downs. Ruffin scored his third touchdown — another rumble for 86 yards — on the next play to make it 37-12. He scored his fourth less than two minutes into the final period to arrive at the 45-12 final.

Washington moves on to host Ayden-Grifton for homecoming next week. The Pam Pack needs to turn this win into more down the stretch if it hopes for a playoff appearance.