WASHINGTON — Along the entrance to J.G. ‘Choppy’ Wagner Stadium, a series of stone blocks commemorate the greatest athletes and teams in the rich history of Washington High.
A special place on the walkway has undoubtedly been reserved for the current Washington football squad – just in case the Pam Pack continue their strong run through the Class 2-AA state playoffs.
Washington survived a stern second-round test Friday from the Bunn Wildcats, withstanding several BHS flurries in the second half to hold on for a 35-32 victory.
The Pam Pack (11-2) advance to next week’s third round against Currituck. Bunn closed at 8-5.
The Wildcats, who saw their three-year string of Elite Eight appearances broken with the loss, had a chance to tie – only to see Freeman Jones’ 44-yard field goal attempt blocked. Freeman is ranked among the top kickers in the nation and is a University of North Carolina recruit.
Washington surged to a 21-10 halftime lead, but the Wildcats converted an early third-quarter fumble recovery into a 5-yard touchdown run from Tevin Ferrell.
The Pam Pack quickly responded in what would become a second-half theme as Daniel Maultsby caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Brodie West.
Bunn drew closer by blocking a punt on the first play of the final quarter. Cordell Bumpers scooped up the ball and ran 6 yards for the score to cut the Wildcats’ deficit to 28-24.
Washington regained its double-digit cushion four plays later with a 34-yard touchdown burst from Trey Spruill.
Again, the Wildcats clawed back, this time courtesy of a 46-yard touchdown pass from freshman Quenten Wright to Tommy Evans at the 5:31 mark of the fourth frame.
After forcing a Pam Pack punt, Bunn moved into scoring position with the ball at the Washington 27-yard line with 10 seconds to play.
Needing a field goal to force overtime, BHS called on Jones, who had already boomed a 47-yarder with plenty of room to spare in the first quarter. The attempt was blocked.
“The snap skidded back and we didn’t block very well,” BHS assistant coach Chris Lewis said. “(Washington) was able to come through on us.”
Washington’s high-powered offense delivered 496 total yards, with a trio of 100-yard rushers: Markel Spencer (19 carries, 137 yards), Spruill (11, 113) and Stevie Green (19, 106).
“Washington had a good football team – we had trouble stopping them,’’ Lewis said. “We were able to hit them with some big plays. It was back and forth.
“We didn’t quit, and that was good. I’m proud of these guys.”