HAVELOCK | The Havelock Rams had one final tune-up, one last scrimmage before kicking it off for real next week.
With less than a week until their regular-season opener against Washington, the Rams were focusing on speeding the game up in their scrimmage versus North Pitt Friday evening at Havelock High School.
“I’m trying to run as fast as we can so we can get some conditioning. That’s what we are trying to do,” Havelock head coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “We are trying to have ball security on offense and get to the ball on defense.”
Havelock, which posted a 12-1 record last season, but lost early in the playoffs, have aspirations of returning to the state championship game.
The Rams have played for a state title in four of the past five seasons.
“We have to make sure we play the game first and not expect anything. We are doing our jobs the best we can do,” said Havelock senior defensive lineman Destin Flloyd.
Havelock’s offense scored nine touchdowns in its scrimmage which included rushing scores from its ground game – running backs Cameron Hutchinson, Tony Sharpe and Montrece Gatling.
“Last year, I couldn’t contribute much. This year, since I am a grade higher, I will contribute and help this team out,” said Hutchinson, a sophomore. “We are going to be game ready. Right now, we are working hard and getting ready for that first game.”
The Rams’ defense played lights out in forcing five turnovers and didn’t allow North Pitt to score.
The teams rotated between offense and defense every 10 minutes.
The scrimmage concluded with situational special teams play.
“Our defense is looking pretty good. We have a lot of good athletes and a lot of guys who can get to the ball,” Flloyd said. “I’m ready to get out there and crack some heads and do what the team needs me to do.”
Havelock had two scrimmages this week – Friday’s and a four-team jamboree at East Carteret.
The Rams begin the regular-season at home against Washington on Aug. 19 followed by a home game against New Bern on Aug. 26.
“On offense, we are working to be more up-tempo. On defense, we are trying to force turnovers and cutting down on mistakes,” Hutchinson said.
Adam Thompson is the sports editor at the Sun Journal. He can be contacted at 252-635-5669. Follow Adam on Twitter @A_ThompsonNBSJ