Those expecting to hear a lot of thunder and see a lot of lightning as the Havelock Rams made their 2013 season weren’t disappointed.
The only problem was that much of it was in the sky high above Washington’s football field. On the ground, the two-time defending state champions struggled with a tough Pam Pack squad before pulling out a 28-6 victory on Friday night.
“Washington played a really good game, and we had spots where we played good,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “We didn’t play Havelock football the whole game. We didn’t play our best football, and Washington had a lot to do with that. They’re a very good team.”
After a thunderstorm delayed the start of the contest for about two hours, the two teams could muster little offensively, and a defensive play from Havelock’s Anthony Fisher may have just turned the tide in Havelock’s favor.
“Anthony Fisher is a good football player,” Bryant said. “He’s a good kid, too. He’s a hard worker. With some of the other guys we have on defense, he sometimes gets overlooked, and I hope he keeps getting overlooked because he’s going to continue to make plays.”
In a scoreless game early in the second quarter, Washington drove inside the Ram 30-yard and faced a fourth-and-9. Pam Pack quarterback Brodie West dropped back to pass, but Fisher broke through the line for the first of his two sacks during the contest.
“I saw the quarterback run, and I just tackled him for a sack to try to get my team back in the game,” Fisher said. “I was just trying to help my team win.”
Less than a minute after Fisher’s sack, Derrell Scott took off on a 38-yard touchdown run, putting the Rams ahead 7-0 with 9:52 left in the second quarter.
Along with Fisher’s two sacks, B.J. Boyd came up with an interception and a key pass break-up on fourth down in the second half for the Rams. Julian Cuthbertson also had a couple of pass break-ups in the secondary.
“We didn’t play our best football, but we did good,” Fisher said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we did alright.”
Washington got back into the contest with 4:19 left in the first half on a 45-yard touchdown run from Markel Spencer, who totaled 139 yards rushing on 27 carries for the contest. Martez Morris blocked the extra point, keeping the Rams ahead 7-6.
A minute later, Travis Sabdo hooked up with Michael Bowman for a 62-yard touchdown pass, with Bowman shedding a pair of defenders along the right sideline before going the distance. The second of four Dylan Baker extra points put Havelock in front 14-6 at halftime.
After Boyd’s interception, Sabdo threw a quick screen to Matthew Boykin, who went 73 yards for a touchdown with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
In replacing Pharoh Cooper, the school’s record-holder for all-purpose yards in a season, Sabdo completed 13 of 27 passes for 266 yards without an interception.
“He did some good things, but there’s always things to work on at every position,” Bryant said of his junior quarterback. “Quarterbacks sometimes get too much credit when we win and too much blame when we lose. We’ve got a lot of work to do at every position on the field.”
Scott added a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the Rams, but he found little room to run against Washington. The senior being recruited by most major colleges managed 47 yards on 10 carries. The Rams struggled on the ground for the entire contest, totaling just 57 yards rushing.
“We just have to go to work and get ready for next week,” Bryant said. “We played ugly and won. I’d rather play ugly and win than play pretty and lose. It was an ugly game, but it was a W.”
The Rams are scheduled to play at New Bern on Friday at 7:30 p.m.