“I thought we played well after two tough losses,” Williamsburg head coach Scott Lefker said. “The kids were able to regroup and put a few good plays together and we were pretty happy with the result.”
The Wildcats opened up the scoring in the first quarter with 10:27 remaining following a solid first defensive stand. After forcing a Rockets’ three-and-out, sophomore do-it-all Rahshei Warren fielded a Fayetteville punt and went 87 yards nearly untouched to give Williamsburg a 7-0 lead.
“He’s really quick runner and he’s been learning on the fly, but we really like what his potential is,” Lefker said. “He actually had three or four punt returns that were over 30 yards, so he had a really good night on punt returns.
“He’s learning to run downhill and trying to be more elusive. He’s coming along really good, we’re really happy with him.”
For the next quarter and a half, both teams stepped up their defensive pressure, both making an interception.
Williamsburg’s quarterback, Lane Edminsten threw the first pick of the game on a deflected pass that Tanner Burchett came down with inside Wildcat territory. The Williamsburg D held strong, however, and came away with an interception of their own by Edminsten, who plays both ways for Burg.
The defensive stand was one of a few that the Wildcats had to withstand in the first half and Lefker was quick to give the credit to the guys up front.
“Our defensive lineman played the best they have probably played all year,” the coach said. “They were finally starting to get low and maintain their gaps. There were a couple times that they were down there on the goal line and we were able to hold them off.”
Piggybacking off of the momentum created by the defense, the Williamsburg offense put a shock into the crowd gathered at Osborne Football Stadium as Mason Hall broke loose on a 76-yard touchdown run to double the Wildcat lead to 14-0 with 5:30 left in the half.
“(Mason) had a big night and scored three touchdowns and rushed for 215 yards on 16 carries,” Lefker said. “Right now, I think he’s ninth in the city in rushing so we’re pretty happy with him as a sophomore. He’s got a lot of potential left in him, so he definitely had a good night and he carries the largest part of our load on offense.”
The Wildcat defense did their jobs once again before the half keeping Fayetteville out of the endzone and off of the scoreboard, giving the offense the ball back with just about one minute remaining.
As former players and cheerleaders gathered near the sidelines for the halftime dedication of the field to Williamsburg legend, Ken Osborne, Lefker, one of Osborne’s former players, dialed up a few plays to honor his old coach.
Following a failed attempt at a quarterback throw-back, the Wildcats succeeded on a hook-and-ladder play that Hall took half of the length of the field for a touchdown with two seconds remaining on the clock.
“One of his favorite plays was the hook-and-ladder,” Lefker said. “We tried to run it twice and actually scored on it the second time, so that was all for him, so I was glad it worked out.”
Following the trick play, the half ended on the ensuing kickoff, giving the Wildcats a 21-0 halftime cushion.
Lefker credited his team with playing so well in the first half that he and his coaching staff were able to take part in the field dedication instead of making adjustments and changes in the locker room.
“I told my kids how much I appreciated how hard they played in the first half so that our coaching staff could go out there,” Lefker said. “I have all the respect in the world for (Coach Osborne). Our whole coaching staff played for Coach Osborne and if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be coaching. It was a special night for us and we were glad to get the win.”
The Wildcats added one more insurance touchdown in the second half courtesy of a Mason Hall four-yard run to give the Wildcats the 28-0 victory, their first of the season.
Lefker said his team’s confidence is back to where it was prior to the season beginning and he expects them to give some of the bigger schools in the Southern Buckeye Conference a run for their money as the Wildcats kick off league play in two weeks against Blanchester.
“We feel like we should be competitive from here on out,” Lefker said. “We’re hopeful that we can pick off a few of the bigger teams that we’re not supposed to beat.”