Football: Monday Morning Quarterback - Williams 2012
October 8, 2012By Kevin McCloskey of Western Alamance High School
Well... Well... Well!
What a difference a week makes!
So, finally, we have completed the turn through "Amen Corner"...
Rockingham County, Eastern Alamance, and Williams.
Realistically, I thought we'd go 2-1 through the corner.
Acceptingly, I'll take 1-2 through the corner since the '1' was in a game that we absolutely, positively needed to win. Its was a 'W' and #10 in a row vs. the Bulldogs and that's just amazing!
After a really sloppy and uninspiring performance a week ago, the REAL Warriors are back!
(NOTE: I used this photo & video clip before, but who cares?!?!? Its still appropriate).
A question I asked of several of the players after the game was...
"So what happened this week in practice? What changed? Who stepped up?"
A couple of quotes appeared in the Burlington Times-News on Saturday morning:
“I was getting sick and tired of losing,” quarterback Nigel Carlton said. “Senior year, I could not lose to Williams.”
Defensive lineman Sydney Younger (another senior) agreed: “We couldn’t lose this one. Playoffs were on the line this week.”
I'd say we're all-in!!
First off... To the fans... WOW!
Absolutely 'Fan'tastic! Multiple times during the game, I couldn't help but turn around and look to see where the noise was coming from. It was loud and energetic and felt like a collegiate atmosphere.
Just like last week, the Warriors took the opening kickoff and put together an impressive drive to start the game. However, unlike last week, this drive didn't falter.
A nice mixture of plays was capped off by a "Wildcat" formation with Brock Deatherage in the shotgun position. Brock began his run to the right, but reversed field and ultimately dragged a Bulldog defender into the endzone by the left pylon! This sensational play brought the Warrior Nation to their feet and the the fans chanted in unison:... "That was easy! That was easy!"
Well, truth be told, it wasn't "easy" but it did set the tone for the game by sending the message that the Warriors were in it to win it.
When the Bulldogs got their chance on offense, it became very obvious that the scouting report was correct... In a nutshell, the Bulldogs are pretty one-dimensional... Give the ball to #29, Jaylin Jeffries.
The Williams workhorse carried the ball on nearly half of Williams total plays. Jeffries finished the evening with 161 yards on 23 attempts and scored the Bulldogs lone touchdown. But Jeffries and the Bulldog rushing attack could not dominate and control the game like Rockingham County did vs. WA a couple of weeks ago. Some nice defensive adjustments by the WA coaching staff and some inspired play by the WA DL/LB corps, prevented Jeffries and Bulldog's offense from sustaining lengthy drives. And the Bulldogs were prone to shoot themselves in the foot/paw with some untimely penalties and turnovers.
When the Bulldogs starting QB, Christian Miles, fumbled in the 2nd quarter and was injured on the play (leaving the game never to return), the Bulldogs were even more severely limited on offense. WA dominated time-of-possession allowing the Bulldogs only one possession in the first 17 1/2 minutes of the contest.
The Warriors were able to control the clock due to a highly successful rushing attack that was bolstered by STRONG play along the offensive line. The "Big Uglies" came to play and it showed as they paved the way for Nigel (89 yards on 18 carries and 2 TDs) and Donovan Apple (111 yards on 24 carries and 1 TD) to just gobble up yardage and control the clock.
And the Warrior Defense was fantastic and opportunistic notching 5 takeaways on the evening. The most important thing was that the turnovers came in crucial situations. There are times when a turnover isn't a big deal. For example, lets say its 3rd-and-10 at midfield and you throw a 40 yard pass that gets picked off on the 10 yard line. No big deal. Chances are you were doing to have to punt anyway. So the interception is nothing more that a premature 40 yard punt.
It was an interesting (and dangerous) night for me along the sidelines. There were at least 4 occasions when the action spilled over the sideline and nearly took me out! I didn't want to find myself on crutches or with a bandaged head (ala Doyle Minton last season at Cummings), so I decided make a hasty retreat when things got close.
So if you watch the game highlights, you'll see some footage of my feet; the ground; the sky; whatever as I ran away like a scared little girl who just ripped her prom dress! :)
And, to top it off, my closest call came from one of our sweet little Warrior Cheerleaders! Emory Turner came tumbling down the track as I was crossing and just about gave me a 2-footed roundhouse kick right to the face!
Like Rodney Dangerfield... I get no respect! :)
But enough about me... Now lets talk about some guys who deserve some respect... Our Warriors!
Game MVP... It was a tough one because everyone played well. But I'm going with the Ninja, Nigel Carlton.
Nigel rushed for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also completed 12/18 passes for 189 more yards. But that's not why Nigel is my MVP.
Look... Here's the deal.
There are Senior Leaders. And then there are SENIOR LEADERS!!!!
Nigel fits the 2nd description (bold and uppercase). I don't know if you see it or not, but I sure do. This is Nigel's team!
Following the game, Ricky Portela made the comment....
"Do you know who Nigel is??? He's Russell Wilson!"
I don't care if you are a Wolfpack/Badgers/Seahawks fan or not, you've got to respect Russell Wilson and his maturity and leadership skills (in addition to the obvious physical skills). Well Nigel is cut from the same mold. And I consider that to be a high compliment to a very deserving young man!
"Its The Little Things"...
Let me set the stage... The Bulldogs Jaylin Jeffries turned the corner and set sail down the sideline near the Warriors bench. Jeffries was headed for the endzone on a lengthy (would be) touchdown for sure. This would draw the Bulldogs to within 6 points and get them back in the ballgame.
As my field of vision was obscured, I quit videoing because I couldn't really see Jeffries any more and I was certain he was about to score. Then I heard a collective.... "Oooooh!" from the Warrior stands!
"What happened??? What happened???", I asked of the first person I could find.
The reply: "You mean you didn't see it? Brock just cleaned his clock! Brock just leveled Jeffries! Jeffries got up and he didn't even know where he was!"
Two plays later, Jeffries (maybe still woozy from the hit) fumbled on the 3 yard line thus turning the ball back over to WA and effectively ending any hopes for a Bulldogs comeback.
So for that.... Brock Deatherage is this weeks winner of the
"Its The Little Things Award."
I had already conceded the touchdown to the Bulldogs. Brock did not. He chose to make a tackle when, in all likelihood, Williams was going to score anyway/eventually.
But you just never know what may happen on the next play. And Brock's extra effort saved a sure TD!
Beep! Beep! Speed kills!
So who was a standout player this week???? Well here goes...
Let me kind of wrap things up by telling you about a comment I heard along the sidelines. This comment came from one of the Williams guys who was pulling the chains for the first down marker.
To paraphrase, the comment went something like this...
"I can't believe how much energy your coaches put into this game. They all know what they're doing and are so into the game and the players."
Think about that for a minute.... This comment came from a rival fan about our coaching staff. That's high praise!
This article is titled "Monday Morning Quarterback." In the world of football, the "Monday Morning Quarterback" is like the backseat driver; or the person who's hindsight is 20-20. Its easy to second-guess and/or point out things that "should have" been done differently. And a favorite target of the classic "Monday Morning Quarterback" is the coaching staff.
I'm not criticizing. That's football! And I'm guilty of it myself from time to time.
That's why coaches have have thick skin.
But as the self-proclaimed "Monday Morning Quarterback" for the Western Alamance football program, let me tell you something... I wouldn't trade our coaching staff for any other; anywhere. We are truly blessed by the men we have leading this football program; doing it the right way and teaching these "kids" how to become young men.
OK... I'll now step down off my soapbox and lets talk about what's ahead.
Next week, we head over to Eastern Guilford to take on the Wildcats. The Wildcats got pummeled by Rockingham County last week, 35-3. They sit at 2-6 and 1-3 in the conference.
This being said... WA "should" win comfortably on the road next week. However, lets not take anything for granted. There's nothing that will fire up the Wildcats more than a win over the Warriors.
So lets all bring our 'A' games next week. The weather has turned cool so its time to break out the gloves and hot chocolate and lets keep the Warriors unbeaten on the road this season!