Washington falters on Senior Night

Published 11:58 pm Thursday, November 1, 2018

WASHINGTON — Washington hoped to give its graduating players a win tonight against West Craven, but the Eagles’ dominance on the offensive line opening running lanes and costly Pam Pack turnovers put a damper on Senior Night, as West Craven came away with the victory, 22-7.

“I felt like we played a little dead for a lot of stretches of the game tonight,” Washington head coach Jon Blank said. “West Craven is a good football team and you can’t show up in that way and expect to win. I hate it for our seniors.”

The West Craven (5-4, 4-1 2A Eastern Carolina Conference) running back tandem of Silas Wallace and DonTrayal Hill had their way with the Pam Pack (3-6, 1-4 2A ECC) defense, bursting through the holes created by their offensive line to gouge the Washington defensive unit.

Wallace, the speed option in the backfield, opened the game’s scoring with a 3-yard touchdown with 9:29 left in the opening quarter, and the powerful Hill scored West Craven’s other two touchdowns. The first, from 3 yards out to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead halfway through the second quarter, while the second, a 6-yard rumble to pay dirt, pushed West Craven’s lead to 22-7 with seven minutes left in the third.

While the Eagles’ ground game was rolling all night, Washington’s rushing attack could never gain any steam. Senior Ka’ci Foreman managed to break free a couple of times, but Michael Clark, the Pam Pack’s senior workhorse, was bottled up by West Craven. Washington’s lone score of the night came through the air, as Antwone Godley perfectly placed a pass in stride for senior Montrice Selby, who raced into the end zone for a 41-yard touchdown catch. That made the score 14-7 with 4:36 remaining in the first half, but the Pam Pack never closed the gap.

But along with the Eagles being able to effectively run the ball for the majority of the night, the five turnovers (four interceptions and a fumble) Washington committed enabled West Craven to come away with the win. The first, an interception that came as the Pam Pack was driving in Eagle territory, led to West Craven’s second touchdown of the night. Three other turnovers, including an interception in the end zone, came in the fourth quarter as Washington desperately tried to claw its way back into the game.

Blank saw both his team’s inability to secure the ball and the Eagle’s dominance on the O-line as big factors for the game’s outcome. But he was pleased with how his defense reacted to being put in bad spots from turnovers.

“We fed off of the costly turnovers. We didn’t react to sudden change very well in some situations,” Blank said. “However, I will credit the defensive players on really kind of making some stops late in the game to still give us a chance. But I wish we would’ve had that same effort in some of those other situations.”

Getting a win for his seniors in the last home game of their careers is something Blank wanted coming into the game. The Pam Pack couldn’t get it done, but Blank is still holding out hope Washington can extend its season.

“I’m really sorry for them. I hate that they had to come out and lose their Senior Night,” Blank said. “I know they’re disappointed. But, they’ve got one more week to get out and battle, and try to control their own destiny. A win next week (at North Lenoir) could potentially put us into the playoffs, and that’s how we’re going to play. I hope that they’ll give us their best next week. I hope we’ll see them all on Monday and just give us a chance.”