Amandre Williams really had no clue.
Part of it was that he needed to focus extremely hard on the Rogers High School football team’s defense, considering this was only his second career start at quarterback for the Tahoma Bears.
But what a coming-out party it was for the 6-foot-3 junior, who unofficially threw for a 4A South Puget Sound League-record 579 passing yards as the Bears won a shootout, 48-41, Thursday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Williams seriously threatened the state’s 11-man single-game passing mark of 613 yards, set by Shadle Park’s Brett Rypien last season. The Tahoma signal-caller was at 579 yards with 61/2 minutes remaining in a close game. Williams did, though, surpass the second-best state mark — also held by Rypien (577 yards in 2012).
But protecting a 48-41 lead with 2:09 to go, Williams went for the win, not a record. He ran the ball on four of the Bears’ final five plays to run out the clock.
He completed 37 of 50 passes and threw for five touchdown s. He also ran for two scores.
“I had no idea (I was close to Rypien’s record) — I just went out and made plays,” Williams said. “We were just trying to do our jobs.”
In fact, it was a historic event on both sides. Rogers quarterback Griffen Stacy — also making his second career start — was 29-for-52 for 500 yards and six touchdown passes — all to standout receiver Kyler Ooley.
It was the first time in SPSL history two quarterbacks passed for more than 500 yards in the same game. The previous single-game league record was 508, set by Tahoma’s Shane Nelson last season.
“That is crazy,” Rogers coach Gene Bowen said. “I didn’t know it was that many (passing yards for both quarterbacks). That is incredible.”
Two Stacy interceptions in the second half opened the door for the Bears. They took the lead for good, 38-35, on Williams’ 1-yard run with 7:19 to go in the third quarter.
Trailing 48-41, Rogers started its final drive at the 5:20 mark at its own 19-yard line, drove 42 yards and faced a fourth-and-2 from the Bears’ 39.
But Stacy’s swing pass intended for Branden Ingles in the right flat fell short with 2:09 remaining.
Ooley just missed the 4A SPSL single-game receiving record of 332 yards, set by Lakes’ Bernard Blosser in 1996. Ooley finished with 11 catches for 326 yards and had 496 all-purpose yards.
But the night — and win — belonged to Williams and the Bears, who are 2-0 to start the season.
“Amandre is an amazing football player,” Tahoma coach Tony Davis said. “And the crazy thing is, his future is on the defensive side of the ball.”