Washington uses strong fourth-quarter, defeats upset-minded North Lenoir
North Lenoir’s Terrance Copper tries to elude Washington’s Mykel Warren during Friday’s contest. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
LA GRANGE | North Lenoir was one quarter away from making Friday’s Senior Night memorable.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Washington scored 20 in the fourth to pick up a 42-25 road victory. The Pam Pack (4-6, 2-4 Eastern Carolina Conference) kept their postseason hopes alive while North Lenoir (0-10, 0-6) was unable to garner a victory this season.
“Our guys decided they were just going to play ball,” Washington coach Jon Blank said. “We have some playoff hopes and we knew winning tonight would give us a chance. It may be a slim chance, but it’s all we want because the way we’ve hung with some of the best teams out here, we know we can win. Our kids have to keep playing strong and I have no fear in the playoffs.”
The Hawks dominated time of possession in the first half, running 39 plays to the Pam Pack’s 15. North Lenoir went on a 10-play opening drive to set up a 29-yard Damon Hewitt field goal, but three plays later Washington countered with Ka’ci Foreman’s 73-yard touchdown run. After the teams traded touchdowns, the Hawks went on another long drive, but Hewitt’s second 29-yarder sailed wide right.
Two plays later, Antwone Godley connected with Montrice Selby for a 66-yard touchdown to put the Pam Pack ahead 22-10. The Hawks would answer as just before halftime, Jason Gagnon rifled a pass to Terrance Copper to bring North Lenoir within five.
Neither team could get it going offensively in the third quarter. The only score would come toward the end of the frame where Savion White recovered a fumble and took it 66 yards to give North Lenoir the lead back at 25-22. Washington immediately went to work with a 7-play, 55-yard drive ending in a Michael Clark 1-yard run with 9:33 to go.
The Hawks would have just one first down in the second half, but picked it up on a roughing the punter penalty on the ensuing possession to bring the team to the Pam Pack 43. Facing fourth-and-5, Gagnon’s pass would fall incomplete and Washington secured the game five plays later on a Uriah Lawrence 43-yard touchdown before Kevon Langley closed out the scoring.
Despite the loss, North Lenoir coach Jim Collins said he was pleased with the efforts, especially after Wednesday’s contest with West Craven left a toll on the team.
“We got physically beat up (against West Craven) and I didn’t know what to expect here,” Collins said. “We had our chances, but we couldn’t get anything done in the second half on offense and I tip my hat to (Washington’s) defensive coordinator. I told the defense at halftime if we got a couple stops in the second half, we had a great shot to win and we did, but we had too many three-and-outs which cost us.”
Collins’ first year with the Hawks didn’t result in a victory, but the coach said he had plenty of high-character players, especially the seniors.
“Our senior class laid a good, solid foundation,” Collins said. “We didn’t have anyone quit and when you’re 0-10, a lot of kids would bail. Our schedule at the end was tough, but they kept playing hard and hopefully the returning guys will continue to follow the trend.”
WASHINGTON 42, NORTH LENOIR 25
W 8 14 0 22 — 42
NL 10 7 8 0 — 25
NL — FG Damon Hewitt 29, 5:35
W — Ka’ci Foreman 73 run (Foreman run), 3:46
NL — Savion White 30 pass from Jason Gagnon (Hewitt kick), 1:56
W — Kevon Langley 2 run (Hunter Hall run), 10:50
W — Montrice Selby 66 pass from Antwone Godley (run failed), 2:50
NL — Terrance Copper 5 pass from Jason Gagnon (Hewitt kick), :10
NL — White 67 fumble return (Gagnon run), :12
W — Clark 1 run (Hall kick), 9:33
W — Uriah Lawrence 43 run (kick failed), 4:17
W — Langley 7 run (Hall kick), 1:53
First Downs 16 13
Rushes 40-413 37-125
Passing 3-4-0 12-22-2
Passing Yards 66 106
Total yards 479 480
Punts 2-38.5 2-41.0
Fumbles 1-1 2-0
Penalties 12-113 10-100
RUSHING — Washington: Ka’ci Foreman 10-161, Uriah Lawrence 4-101, Antwone Godley 6-59, Jaden Hambric 4-14, Michael Clark 4-10, Kavon Langley 2-9. North Lenoir: Terrance Copper 10-65, Trey Barnes 12-34, Onassis Gardner 4-11, Ja’lyn McNeil 2-8, Ny’Jai Koonce 4-5, Jason Gagnon 5-2.
PASSING — Washington: Godley 2-3-0, 59; Montrice Selby 1-1-0, 7. North Lenoir: Gagnon 11-21-2, 77; Logan Bigler 1-1-0, 29.
RECEIVING — Washington: Selby 1-66, Lawrence 2-0. North Lenoir: Savion White 3-47, Koonce 1-29, Copper 6-16, Bigler 1-14, McNeil 1-0.