Originally created 09/08/02

Washington-Wilkes' struggling on offense



For the second week in a row, Washington-Wilkes' offense was stuck in neutral.

The Tigers got away with it in a win at Lincoln County to open the season Aug. 30. Thomson, the No. 1 team in Class AAAA, wasn't going to let them off the hook Friday.

Stuck with an offensive attack that gained just 113 total yards (including an anemic 8 yards on the ground) and seven first downs, Washington-Wilkeslost 28-7.

"We expected them to pound the ball off tackle and then bounce it outside," Thomson linebacker Danny Verdun said. "We knew their quarterback was very good. We just had to contain him and hope for the best.

For the most part, the Bulldogs limited Tiger quarterback Jamaal Binns' success. But for one drive, he was a star.

Completing all five passes on a five-play, 59-yard drive midway through the third quarter, Binns led the Tigers to their only score and gave the team some much-needed momentum.

Washington-Wilkes coach Ross New now needs to see more of that production.

"That was definitely uplifting," New said. "It's a whole new offensive system the kids are getting accustomed to. But we showed we can spread the ball on a defense like Thomson, and we can need to show we can do it in (other) situations.

"We improved tremendously from last week. As long as we improve week-to-week that's all I'm looking for."

WILDCATS WOES: Laney's defense was smothering against Hephzibah, holding the Rebels to 38 yards of total offense Friday.

Now, Wildcats coach Eric Parker wants to see his offense improve in time for next week's game at Washington-Wilkes.

"We knew the defense would be miles ahead of the offense," said Parker, whose team accumulated only 114 total yards and lost four fumbles. "We just have to get better."

RACKING THEM UP: Apparently South Aiken running back Rashad Hunter isn't satisfied with any honor The Augusta Chronicle bestows upon him.

Before the season began, Hunter was named to the preseason Dream 16 squad. He promptly went out and rushed for 253 yards on 40 carries in a win against Midland Valley.

That earned him Player of the Week honors from the paper.

It wasn't good enough for the 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior. Friday night in an overtime victory at Airport, Hunter rushed 43 times for 309 yards and scored three times.

JACKETS ADJUSTING: Faced with the loss of senior offensive lineman John Havird for the rest of the season with a torn ACL and minus Josh Stringer to a two-game suspension, North Augusta lit into Midland Valley, 28-7.

But Yellow Jackets coach Joe Long was still thinking about who wasn't out on the field.

"Losing Havird," Long said, "is going to affect us for a while."

Reach Josh Katzowitz at (706) 823-3216 or josh.katzowitz@augustachronicle.com.