Fourth-quarter rally keeps Washington’s playoff hopes alive

Published 12:39 am Saturday, November 10, 2018


From the Kinston Free Press

LA GRANGE — Facing a deficit and elimination from playoff contention, a 20-point fourth quarter pushes the Pam Pack to a 42-25 victory over North Lenoir tonight, keeping Washington’s postseason hopes alive.

“That’s what we want to see from our guys,” Washington head coach Jon Blank said. “This group has to learn how to win those games. We believe we will make the playoffs and a game like this could help us in the postseason.”

It was a close first half, as both offenses couldn’t be stopped early. The third quarter was going to be a scoreless one until North Lenoir’s Savion White returned a fumble for a touchdown to give the Hawks (0-10, 0-6 2A Eastern Carolina Conference) the lead going into the fourth quarter. However, Washington (4-6, 2-4 2A ECC) wasn’t done just yet.

The Pam Pack rallied back with 20-straight points to seal the victory, which is an important one. Blank’s team will wait to see if they made the 2A NCHSAA playoffs as the seedings come out Saturday. In the end, he was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We stopped letting the bad calls get to us,” Blank said. “There was some immaturity shown by the team. However, we stuck to our principles and getting back to what we do best helped us win tonight. North Lenoir gave a great effort throughout the game so full credit to them. Hopefully, we’ve done enough to get into the postseason.”

On the other side, it was a bitter end to a tough season for the Hawks, who finished winless, but they were in this game until the very end. The Hawks have played a lot of football over the last few weeks due to the impact of Hurricane Florence. Head coach Jim Collins was proud of his team and his seniors.

“Four games in 11 days is tough,” Collins said. “We played very well tonight, but unfortunately we couldn’t get a win for these seniors. We couldn’t get anything going in the second half and credit to Washington for that. I’m proud to be the football coach of this school and I loved the effort from our team all year and we can build on that for next season.”

For senior Terrence Copper, the next level potentially awaits. He had a receiving touchdown in the second quarter of this game. He’ll certainly miss representing North Lenoir on and off the field.

“I’m really going to miss my teammates and coaches and I hope to get a chance to play at the next level,” Copper said. “The energy that the fans have brought all season was excellent too. I loved representing this school on the football team. Hopefully, the rising seniors can make this program successful next year.”