Stevens: Williamson gaining confidence with each snap
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 7, 2011 1:48 PM
Cold from a damp Friday evening, Princeton quarterback Brad Williamson stood on the football field and talked about how well his teammates had just played in a game that ended just before midnight.
Williamson didn't mention either his 259 yards passing or three touchdowns in a 44-0 victory over Carolina 1-A Conference foe Spring Creek. The second-year varsity starter, instead, heaped praise on his receivers, running backs and offensive line.
That is exactly what those who have come to know the son of head coach Russell Williamson expect from the junior field general. He's quick to politely respond with a "Yes sir" and seemed more eager to talk about Princeton's defense that intercepted four Spring Creek passes.
Brad's numbers say plenty, though.
He's thrown for 910 yards and six touchdowns with just two interceptions through the first six games. He averages 151 yards passing a game, has completed 63 percent of his passes and added 379 rushing yards. Williamson has accounted for 11 touchdowns alone.
An improved understanding of the offense in which the Bulldogs rarely huddle and the majority of the plays are called from the sideline just before the snap has payed off significantly. Williamson has nearly surpassed the 914 yards and five touchdowns he threw for last season.
Williamson displayed strong chemistry with his receivers in the win over the Gators. Eight of the 12 passes he completed went for 14 yards or more and six went for 20 yards or more. Williamson tossed touchdown passes of 38 and 50 yards to Austin Hinton, and completed a 34-yard scoring pass to Forrest Stewart. A strong arm combined with an ability to hit speedy receivers in stride can wreak havoc on opposing secondaries.
"I think Brad is starting to mature and understand what we're doing," said coach Williamson. "Last year he struggled with it quite a bit being a sophomore. We've gotten better up front and that's helped quite a bit. He knows our offense a bit better and I think that's helped him this year."
Charles B. Aycock transfer David Gurganus guided Princeton to a 10-4 record in 2009 while throwing for 4,116 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Bulldogs reached the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A (small-school) state playoffs before losing at Mount Airy. A year ago, Princeton went just 2-10 and lost at Lakewood in the first round of the playoffs. The Bulldogs averaged fewer than 100 yards rushing per game in those two seasons.
This year, Princeton (3-3, 1-0 CC) has rushed for 1,173 yards and 18 touchdowns through six games. The Bulldogs average 195 rushing yards a game and no longer can opposing defenses concentrate solely on Princeton's aerial attack. Senior tailback Javontae Davis leads the Bulldogs with 640 yards and 10 touchdowns.
"Javontae is experienced and he's been here since he was a freshman," said Brad Williamson. "He got an extra year and he just knows what he's doing. He can run the ball."
With another year left to develop and mature, Williamson is quickly adding new meaning to the phrase "Beware of Dog."
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