Washington shut out in conference opener

Published 12:36 am Saturday, September 22, 2018


Kinston Free Press

WASHINGTON — Greene Central’s A.J. Dupree stole the show tonight in Wagner Stadium as he ran for four touchdowns and led the Rams to a 28-0 win over Washington.

It was the first Eastern Carolina Conference game of the season. Greene Central (3-2, 1-0), Washington (2-3, 0-1) and Ayden-Grifton (2-2, 0-0) are the only members of the conference playing football as all three Lenoir county and West Craven (1-3) deal with the after effects of Hurricane Florence. The Chargers had their bye, so the Rams and Pam Pack were the only game being played.

“Just got to come, show up, play every night,” Dupree said. “You never know who’s watching.”

The senior played like everyone was watching. He had over 230 yards from scrimmage to go along with his four touchdowns. Dupree is supposed to take a visit to University of North Carolina tomorrow.

“He’s special,” head coach Allen Wooten said. “I told people before the season started, he’s the best offensive and defensive player in the conference, and I’ll put my foot down and say it again. He’s a special player.”

Dupree got over 80 yards from scrimmage after halftime, which was after 3 year starter and captain of the team Walker Sutton went down with a broken leg in the second quarter. Sutton, a senior, had been playing with a torn ACL but was holding off surgery until after his senior season.

Greene Central now sits atop of the conference early on at 1-0. One of the biggest goals for the Rams going in was securing Wooten’s first conference title.

“The past couple of years, we’ve been having good teams, but we always couldn’t finish it. We’d start good, but couldn’t finish. So it feel good to come out with our first victory, and be at the atop so we can be in the driver seat for the conference,” Dupree said.

It was Greene Central’s first shutout of the season, and Washington’s second time getting shutout.

“We battled until the end of this one,” Washington head coach Jon Blank said. “We were able to force a turnover late. Then we gave our offense one last shot to get down there and score. They played until there was no time on the clock.”

Washington’s offense has been really good at times, because when they’ve scored, they’ve scored 45. They are 2-1 when they have scored, but have lost both games they were shutout by a combined 76 points.

“We’re in conference season, and we’ve got to step our game up,” Blank said. “Tonight, we did not (step up) and hats off to Greene Central they did.”