Rams overcome turnovers, sloppy conditions to win 38-0

A rain storm parked itself over Havelock High on Saturday night, and the Ram offense was in neutral for most of the night.

Havelock put the ball on the ground nine times, losing three fumbles, but got going in the second half of a 38-0 victory over Washington in the season-opener.

“Washington was playing in the same conditions and they put the ball on the ground twice,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “We put the ball on the ground nine or 10 times. That just can’t happen.”

In a driving rain, Havelock fumbled on its first two possessions inside Washington territory. After a scoreless first quarter, the Rams finally got a handle on things in the second. Corey Cooper threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Khalil Barrett, and Cooper later added a 30-yard touchdown run, with Tony Sharpe adding the two-point conversion for a Havelock 14-0 lead at halftime.

“First game of the season, I thought we were pumped up, a little excited to get things going,” Cooper said. “The weather was a bit of a factor, but God said it was going to rain today, and it rained. After halftime, we settled down, made some adjustments and got the job done when we needed to.”

With the rain gone in the second half, the Rams established their ground game. Tony Sharpe had a 3-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion, and then Cameron Hutchinson had an 18-yard touchdown run and added a two-point conversion for a Havelock 30-0 lead after three quarters. Hutchinson added a 12-yard TD run and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin.

“I told them at halftime that we were going to run just three plays – power, iso and stretch,” Bryant said. “We were going to run power, iso and stretch and run it right at them, and that’s what we did. We were either going to win the game by pounding the rock or we were going to lose the game by us not winning up front. I thought the second half the offensive line blocked much better and made some holes.”

Havelock’s defense dominated the entire game. Dominick Madden and JohnQuarious Hatten recovered fumbles for Havelock, and Tyiyon Johnson partially blocked a punt. The Pam Pack had just one first down without the benefit of a penalty.

“I thought our defense played great,” Bryant said. “We didn’t give them a chance to get in the end zone. Our defense played great, but our offense, we moved the ball but we just kept putting it on the ground. When you put the ball on the ground nine times, you’re lucky to get out of here with a win.

“I’m proud of the guys for the win, but there’s a lot of things we’ve got to work on.”

Havelock is next scheduled to play New Bern at 7 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.