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Williams sparks Spartans past East Hall, 51-22
West Hall stays unbeaten in Region 7-AAA play
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West Hall's Hykeem Bennett hauls in a pass for a touchdown over East Hall's Triquece Ware Friday night on a flea-flicker play as the seconds tick away during the second quarter at Spartan Field.

Spartans 51, Vikings 22

Difference maker: Kwon Williams had an interception, threw a touchdown pass and scored on a 63-yard touchdown run in a span of less than 100 seconds of game time.

Stat that matters: Three 100-yard rushers for West Hall. Tyquan Statham, Jay Crawford and Williams each regularly found holes for big gains and combined for four touchdowns.

Turning point: Cameron Millsap scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 37.8 seconds left in the first half. Two plays into the ensuing East Hall drive, Williams pulled down an interception. On the very next play, Williams took a pitch and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Hykeem Bennett for a 20-7 lead less than a minute after trailing East Hall 7-6.

Who’s next: West Hall (5-1, 2-0 Region 7-AAA) plays at Franklin County in Region 7-AAA action next Friday, the same night East Hall (2-4, 1-2) plays host to county foe Johnson in a non-region game.

Once West Hall took the lead, Kwon Williams wasn’t about to let the Spartans give it away.

The Spartans junior pulled down an interception two plays into East Hall’s next drive, then took a pitch and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Hykeem Bennett on the first play of West Hall’s ensuing drive.

Just like that, West Hall went from a 7-6 deficit before Cameron Millsap’s 3-yard touchdown run to a 20-7 edge at the half en route to a 51-22 victory against the county rival Vikings on Friday night in Oakwood.

“It seemed like we made the big play when we needed the big play,” West Hall coach Tony Lotti said. “Momentum can change quick, and when it changes, it’s really hard to get it back in your favor.”

Millsap scored to give the Spartans the lead with 37.8 seconds left in the opening half, right before Williams’ pair of big plays. As if that wasn’t enough, Williams broke away for a 63-yard touchdown run and a 27-7 lead on the third quarter’s second play from scrimmage.

“It was mainly the line,” Williams said. “They block great. When they did that, it helped me a lot, got to the second level.”

Tyquan Statham (nine carries, 184 yards), Jay Crawford (four carries, 120 yards) and Williams (12 carries, 101 yards) gave the Spartans a trio of 100-yard rushers.

Crawford scored on runs of 18 and 68 yards, with Tyquan Statham adding a scoring run of 69 yards.

“When it comes to a foot race, I feel like we’ll win them all,” Williams said.

All told, six Spartans players found the end zone.

After a missed 37-yard field goal by West Hall’s Bradley Hodgson, Devin Watson directed a 13-play, 80-yard drive spanning roughly 5:26 of game time, capped by Watson’s 1-yard quarterback sneak to give East Hall a 7-0 edge in the final minute of the first quarter.

West Hall responded with Jacob Satterfield finding Jacob Taylor for a 15-yard touchdown pass to cut it to 7-6 when the extra point was no good after a penalty pushed the attempt back with 8:49 left in the second quarter.

Then the Spartans took control late in the second quarter.

“It’s a wake-up call for us because (against) some teams, if we start off slow like that, we might end up on the bottom end of the stick at the end of the game,” Williams said. “We need to not do that again.”

After Williams’ quick-strike run to start the third quarter, East Hall cut it to 27-14 on Watson’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Rex Purgason, set up by a 57-yard Watson run.

A Ronnie Peebles interception gave the ball back to the Vikings, but Ty Statham stripped the ball from Jacques Ash as East Hall moved inside the West Hall 20. Two plays later, Tyquan Statham had his 69-yard touchdown run to push it to 34-14.

The Vikings finished with four turnovers, including three lost fumbles.

“We moved the ball relatively easily,” East Hall coach Bryan Gray said. “We just kept turning it over every time we got down there on the short end of the field. And we just kept putting our defense back on the field, and their very skilled offense just kept running it. And eventually they started breaking the big ones on us.”

Crawford’s scoring runs, the second one being the 68-yarder, made it 48-14 with 9:30 left in the contest.

Hodgson added a 39-yard field goal for West Hall with 4:18 remaining.

Watson connected with Junior Lee for a 15-yard touchdown pass as Watson’s 2-point conversion run cut it to the final margin with 3:20 to play.

Watson finished with 276 passing yards, 85 rushing yards, two touchdown passes and a touchdown run, impressing the opposing coach.

“He’s a tough kid,” Lotti said. “He’s a competitor. And he’s going to have an extremely bright future after he leaves East Hall High School.”

West Hall (5-1, 2-0 Region 7-AAA) travels to Franklin County next Friday in region play, while East Hall (2-4, 1-2) is host to Johnson in its final nonregion contest of the season.

“I was pleased with our effort,” Lotti said. “I was probably most proud of our resiliency because there were some things we didn’t do well. And we’ve got to work on those things, which we will. But the kids fought through it and made plays when we had to make plays.”

Gray had high praise for the Spartans.

“They’re a great team,” Gray said. “And they’re going to be a real success.”

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