Kentwood High School football coach Rex Norris said Isaiah Williams made a decision two weeks ago – the junior running back wanted to take his game to another level.
“He said one thing to me and it triggered it,” Williams said. “I would not like to say what, but it triggered something in me. I said, ‘all right, it’s time to get it going.”
Williams rushed for 162 yards on 20 carries, including a pair of long first-quarter touchdown runs Friday as No. 7 Kentwood rushed for 337 total and shut out Tahoma 28-0 in a South Puget Sound League Northeast matchup.
Williams rushed for more yards than Tahoma’s Amandre Williams had passing. The Bears’ junior quarterback – who threw for the second-best single-game mark in state big-school history with 579 yards two weeks ago against Rogers – finished 15 of 32 for 111 yards and an interception against Kentwood’s staunch defense.
“We were worried coming in, and you know what, if we played them again, we’d be worried again because (Amandre Williams) is that kind of athlete,” Norris said. “I just think our offense was able to hold onto the ball and take some minutes off. And our secondary did a really nice job. I’m really proud of them all.”
Isaiah Williams was the primary clock-burning catalyst.
He followed his 50-yard touchdown burst in the first quarter with a 24-yard TD run just before the end of the period to put the Conquerors ahead 14-0. He had recovered a Tahoma fumble to get Kentwood the ball at the Bears’ 27 to start the second scoring drive.
Tahoma (3-2, 0-1 SPSL Northeast) responded with its best offensive drive of the game, marching to the Kentwood 1. But Amandre Williams was stuffed on a third-down QB sneak and his fourth-down quick pass to Jerome Woods in the left slot was wide as the Bears turned it over on downs.
“They are pretty good on defense,” said Tahoma coach Tony Davis. “I’ll just leave it at that. They are a very good defense.”
The Conquerors (5-0; 2-0 SPSL Northeast) have held opponents to an average of six points per game (they came in third in 4A in scoring defense).
“We can shut almost anybody out, probably everybody out,” Isaiah Williams said. “I doesn’t matter who we play. We knew what (Tahoma) was doing, we were watching film, we were prepared, decided we were going to shut them out and that’s what we did.”
And Williams’ stepped-up role in the running game should make Kentwood that much more dangerous.
“At the beginning of the season, I wasn’t performing like I thought I could,” Williams said. “But come last game, I was like, ‘I really want to try and get this thing going. So I turned it on and it’s going to be like that here on out. Every game – I’m going to go as hard as I can.”
Said Norris: “He’s made the decision to play at the next level. He’s been watching some of the best backs in the state and he wants to be named in that group.”
Not a bad decision.