10/07/10 — Princeton has balance on offense

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Princeton has balance on offense

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 7, 2010 1:47 PM

Princeton has traded in its aerial show for a high-wire act on offense this season. Coach Russell Williamson's squad has shown more than capable balance.

One year removed from a record-setting season through the air, the Bulldawgs have turned to a revamped ground game to ensure a pair of early-season wins. With an improved offensive line and an emerging running back, Princeton has become a player in the race for the Carolina 1-A Conference championship.

And that quest begins Friday at Spring Creek.

"It's a conference game and we know we are going to have to play well," said Williamson. "I think there are four teams that are pretty even in our league this year so it's going to be a challenge."

Being able to lean on the shoulders of tailback Javonte Davis should ease Williamson's nerves. The hard-running sophomore has rushed for 620 yards and eight touchdowns on 99 carries.

"Javonte is a good back because he has both speed as well as cutback ability," said Williamson. "When we are playing well on the offensive line, Javonte has been able to find the holes and use his vision."

Davis' numbers are even more spectacular when compared to the Dawgs' offense in 2009.

Behind quarterback David Gurganus, Princeton passed the ball for 3,725 yards while rushing for only 875 last season. That means 81 percent of the Princeton offense was gained through the air. Nearly 60 percent of the Dawgs' plays from scrimmage were pass plays.

So far in 2010, the Dawgs have gained 1,353 total yards with 710 coming on the ground and 643 through the air.

While Williamson is pleased with his team's ability to run the ball effectively and maintain balance, he has also been excited by the maturation of sophomore quarterback Brad Williamson.

"Brad is coming along, gaining a lot of valuable experience," said the coach. "We have taken some of the pressure off him by playing well up front and mixing up the play calling a little more than we have in the past."

The Dawgs will look to take advantage of a Spring Creek defense that has allowed 29.6 points per game so far through six contests. The Gators do have history on their side, however. They have won six of the nine meetings since 2001.

"We are going to have to win the game in the trenches," Williamson said. "The offensive and defensive lines will decide if we go in there and get a win to open the conference."

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at "The Swamp."