Devin Watson, East Hall: Threw for three touchdowns and ran for three more in a win against Johnson.
Milton Whelchel, East Hall: Returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and had a 21-yard receiving score in the fourth quarter against Johnson.
Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Threw for 399 yards and four scores and rushed for another in a win against Apalachee.
Jacob Lewis, Jackson County: Threw for three touchdowns to three different receivers in a win against East Jackson.
Joseph Garuba, Riverside Military: Rushed for a team-high 96 yards on 20 carries in a loss to Washington-Wilkes.
Jesse Griggs, Johnson: Rushed for a team-best 145 yards on 31 carries and scored the Knights’ first touchdown in a loss to East Hall.
Jackson McDonald, Flowery Branch: Ran for 96 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 145 yards on six completions in a win against Loganville.
To say Kwon Williams had a big night last Friday is an understatement. The West Hall sophomore led the charge for the on-the-rise Spartans, scoring four rushing touchdowns in a massive 48-13 win over Banks County.
His final stat line looked like something from a video game: 6 rushes, 181 yards, 4 touchdowns.
It was a performance that earned him the honor of The Times’ Football Player of the Week.
“(Kwon) has good vision and he has some decent speed and he is understanding where those cuts are going to be,” West Hall coach Tony Lotti said. “That seems to help him. Like I told him, every week now, this is what I expect.”
Williams was explosive from the start of Friday night’s game. He scored on West Hall’s first offensive play, going 57 yards to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
He continued his play in the second quarter, scoring a pair of TDs, the first coming on a 32-yard run that put West Hall ahead 21-0, and the second a 60-yard run to make the score 34-0 before the half.
Williams scored again in the third quarter on a 24-yard run, before being pulled from the game to reduce the chance of injury.
“(Kwon) had something the week before, seven carries for 200-something yards and three touchdowns,” Lotti said. “The good thing is, he is stronger this year. I played him as a freshman last year and he took a lot of bumps and bruises. He has improved in his work ethic and I think he is starting to see that pay off.”
That work ethic Lotti alluded to is something that hasn’t just worked for Williams. It seems like the entire West Hall football team dedicated itself over the offseason, possibly a major reason the Spartans are 3-1 this season.
“I feel like what’s happened is, the kids have learned now what we expect,” Lotti said. “It is more what we did in the offseason, with conditioning and our strength program. We are a little stronger than we were and we are a little quicker. We have several quality people we can give the ball to and I feel good about it.”
Along with Williams, West Hall has an explosive backfield, which includes senior Antonio Pittman and sophomore Tyquan Statham.
Mix all the athletic talent in the backfield with athletic quarterback Zach English along with Super 11 tight end Hunter Atkinson and the Spartans have an offense capable of putting up points.
Through their first four games this season, they’re averaging 36.5 points per game, led by back-to-back dominating performances on the ground from Williams.
“Our offensive output has been good,” Lotti said. “Our guys have been in the system for a year now and they understand roles. We have got to be able to run the football in this league.”
West Hall’s only blemish this season came in a final-minute loss to Chestatee, a school from a higher classification. The game was one of three non-region contests the Spartans played against larger classification schools, something Lotti hopes will better prepare his team in order to make a playoff run in a region that includes Buford and North Hall, both semifinalists last season.
“I felt like the Chestatee game helped us the most,” Lotti said. “It helped us to play physical the most, because (Chestatee) is a physical football team. Their are teams in our region that are extremely physical.”
One way to be physical and to run the football is by putting the ball in the hands of backs like Williams, who is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball.
“Kwon is understanding his role,” Lotti said.
West Hall returns to action on Friday night, when it visits Fannin County (1-3). The Spartans return home Oct. 4 against Buford.