Player Profile: Drew Ferguson, Pam Pack defense thrive on senior night

Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Drew Ferguson and his fellow seniors anxiously anticipated Friday’s senior-night clash with Kinston. Emotions were rampant as he and 14 others played their last regular-season game in “Choppy” Wagner Stadium.

For Ferguson, those feelings served as fuel for an outstanding defensive performance. The senior defensive end had a fumble recovery, an interception and a handful of sacks as the Pam Pack kept the Vikings off the scoreboard until the first play of the fourth quarter.

It marked their longest defensive stand of the season.

“There were some things we knew he could do well, and he did those things well,” coach Jon Blank said. “I think that Drew really wanted to have a great night on defense on senior night. He was focused. He’s had the ability, at times, to flash this year. (Friday), he showed that.”

Ferguson added: “Us seniors knew that it was our last game at “Choppy” Wagner Stadium. It was just really hard to know that a lot of us wanted that game more than any other game this year. … A lot of us got kind of emotional after the game, but it was still a really good game and I was happy to be a part of it.”

When it comes to managing that emotion, Ferguson said he tends to relax before the game. He’ll hang out with his teammates and review plays to make sure he’s mentally sharp. His reactions after making a big play on the field are anything but relaxed, though.

The interception in the second quarter was a heads-up play by Ferguson. He had the screen pass scouted well. He recognized the play unfolding, followed the lead blocker out and picked off the pass before it got to the receiver.

“Kinston is known to run screens,” he said. “If the line lets you go, then expect the worst from the screen. As soon as I saw the quarterback turned, I kept running with the tackle that helped block. I just said, ‘I’m going to throw my hands up there’ and it worked in my favor.”

“The adrenaline is pretty high, so you don’t really remember most stuff. It was just an amazing feeling. Your arms and legs are numb. You look up to the crowd and know it’s all for you and what you’ve done for your team. It’s just such a great feeling. I can’t think of anything like it.”

Both of Ferguson’s turnovers gave Washington the ball in Kinston territory, but the offense struggled to convert on chances in a 21-12 loss. That led to an outpouring of different emotions, especially for the seniors: frustration, sadness, but not helplessness.

Ferguson and the Pam Pack know that Friday’s regular-season finale at 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference frontrunner West Craven will determine whether or not the Pam Pack will have a postseason.

He and his teammates have put in too much work this year — and they’ve come out on the wrong side of too many close games — to not build on last year’s three-win season.

“I’m very confident in our team. I’m sure if we play like we did last week with a little bit better offense, I’m sure West Craven doesn’t have anything for us,” Ferguson said. “It’s everything at this point. We all really love this sport. We don’t come out here in the summer, work hard and sweat all day for nothing.”

Washington wraps up the regular season at West Craven on Friday. Kick off is slated for 7 p.m.