Pam Pack opens football season with rout of East Carteret

Published 11:45 pm Friday, August 17, 2018

It took Washington some time to get its ground game going tonight, but once it did there wasn’t much East Carteret could do, as the Pam Pack ran away with a 46-6 home victory in the high school football season opener.

Through the game’s opening quarter Washington (1-0) looked like it would miss last year’s leading rusher, Hykeem Ruffin and his 2,005 yards and 29 touchdowns, after not being able to cross midfield. But it took only a few minutes in the second for Ka’ci Foreman, Michael Clark and Ganeryan Parker to bust out several long runs to help build a 16-0 lead and make Ruffin a fond, distant memory.

Pam Pack head coach Jon Blank said after the game that his team didn’t panic and trusted the running game to start producing.

“We know we’ve got confidence in the triple option,” Blank said. “We know that even if we struggle with it early, we’ll figure out where the seams are and we’ll get the right calls in there and the right reads. Sometimes it’s quarterback play. Maybe he needs to make the right read; maybe he needs to hold it a little bit longer. So, we addressed those things on the sideline.”

After being mostly stonewalled in the first quarter, Foreman jumpstarted Washington’s offense with a 36-yard run that saw the ball placed at East Carteret’s (0-1) 5-yard line after a penalty for a horse-collar tackle. Clark eventually rumbled into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown and Foreman ran for a two-point conversion. After a quick three-and-out by the Mariners, Parker got in on the action with a 50-yard touchdown run, and Foreman added another two-point conversion.

East Carteret finally got on the board in its following possession, using a 43-yard gain to get into the red zone before almost stalling out and scoring on fourth-and goal with a 6-yard touchdown. Washington responded immediately with quarterback Antwone Godley pitching the ball to Parker for a 45-yard touchdown run, establishing a 24-6 lead.

It wasn’t just Foreman, Clark and Parker getting it done on offense for the Pam Pack. Uriah Lawrence took a screen pass 56 yards to the house to close out the first half’s scoring at 32-6. Then in the fourth, Montrice Selby found open space in the middle of the field to catch a pass from Goodley and run into the endzone untouched for a 52-yard score and Lamanz’s Koroma capped the game’s scoring with a 28-yard scamper.

It wasn’t just the running game that impressed on opening night. After being a weakness last year, the defense looked much improved. The Pam Pack generated several turnovers, including interceptions by Foreman and Jamari Barnes when East Carteret was driving in the second quarter and threatening to score.

Blank said creating turnovers is something the coaching staff sets as a goal for its defense.

“We have a goal of three turnovers a week and that’s a very important goal,” Blank said. “Typically when you meet that goal you win football games, so we make that a priority.”

Along with the turnovers, the play of sophomore linebacker Hayden Anderson stood out. Playing his first game at the varsity level, the 155-pounder was all over the field making plays and stuffing runners behind the line of scrimmage.

“Hayden seemed like in on every tackle. He’s our guy,” Blank said. “As a sophomore he is a little under-sized and he’s young, but he’s got the ‘it’ factor when it comes to linebacker play. He is relentless in getting to the football and that’s why he’s up with us (on varsity) right now.”

Things get much more difficult in week two for Washington. The Pam Pack will head to Tarboro to take on the defending state champion Vikings, who have 23 seniors returning from last year’s squad.