For more photographs from the 2014 season opener, click here: http://portal.havenews.com/photogallery/?CatID=6&AlbumID=2337
Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant preaches that his team must get better after each practice and after each game. The Rams will certainly get that opportunity after Friday’s season opener.
Havelock’s offense struggled at times against a tough Washington team, and the Rams had to rely on two big special teams plays to give them a spark in a 37-6 victory over the Pam Pack at Havelock High.
“We could have played better, but that’s why I like football,” Bryant said. “I love the grind. I love to practice, and we’ve got a lot to work on. Washington’s a good football team. We did what we had to do to win, but we saw a whole lot that we’ve got to work on.”
The three-time defending state 3A champs were locked in a scoreless game with Washington through the first quarter. With Havelock’s defense forcing a punt on the Pam Pack’s first possession of the second quarter, Matt Boykin fielded the ball on the left, went all the way to the right and then cut up field, going 58 yards for a touchdown. Dylan Baker’s extra point put Havelock on top 7-0 with 11:01 left in the first half.
“That was big because we were struggling at that time offensively,” Bryant said of the Boykin’s touchdown.
Washington kicked its next punt away from Boykin into the hands of Dallas Frazier. That strategy failed when Frazier returned the ball 57 yards to the Pam Pack 7-yard line. Tony Sharpe scored from two yards out, giving the Rams a 14-0 edge with 8:17 left in the second quarter.
“Dallas is a good little player,” Bryant said. “Our special teams did great. Dylan Baker kicked off well, made a field goal and did well on our extra points. We had one bad hold on an extra point, but our punt return and kickoff returns, I thought we did a really good job.”
The Pam Pack bounced right back with Markel Spencer’s 80-yard touchdown run, cutting the margin to 14-6 with 7:57 left in the half.
“In spurts, we played decent, but at other times, we were exposed – our special teams and our offensive line,” Washington coach Sport Sawyer said. “Defensively, I thought we played pretty well except for a couple of plays, but they (Havelock) are a very good football team, and it showed.”
Havelock regained control with Travis Sabdo’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Kyran Bowman, giving the Rams a 21-6 halftime edge.
“I’m a little disappointed in our offense,” Sawyer said. “We didn’t move the ball. We moved the ball pretty decent in our little scrimmage last week, but not this week, and that’s something to learn from.”
The Ram defense controlled the second half, which included a fumble recovery by Joey Godette. Havelock’s Taron Wallace had an interception in the first half.
“Our defense I thought did a great job,” Bryant said. “They only gave up one long play when some guys were out of position, but we’ve got to get better on both sides of the ball.”
Offensively in the second half, Havelock got Baker’s 19-yard field goal late in the third quarter, and Sabdo’s 5-yard pass to Bowman and his 34-yard pass to Boykin in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
Bryant said he was pleased to get the victory but knows the Rams have a lot of work to do to get ready for county rival New Bern at 7 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.
“Everybody has got to do their jobs,” he said. “We’ve got too many guys trying to do their own thing and playing outside the framework of what we coach them to do. We’ve got to get everybody on the same page, and everybody’s got to trust each other to do what they’re supposed to do on every play and not worry about everybody else’s job but do their own job.”
Havelock played the game without Micheal Bowman. The senior wide receiver had verbally committed to play at South Carolina, but he was not on the sideline and his name did not appear on the Havelock roster printed in the game program.
When asked about Micheal Bowman’s absence, Bryant said that it was a “team issue” and he declined to elaborate. Rumors had been circulating that Bowman had been arrested, but Havelock Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus said on Friday that Bowman had not been arrested, and he refused to comment if Bowman was the subject of any incident or investigation.