In addition to geographical proximity (five miles), each school is in its second year of existence, with no seniors on campus, and competing athletically as independent schools in 4A Division II.
But on the football field, Williams Field has thus far proven superior in this young rivalry.
With a convincing 35-11 homecoming victory over Perry Friday night in Gilbert, the Williams Field program was able to showcase its powerful offense while proving that its 2-3 record was misleading.
“We’ve played a really tough schedule, and we’ve told the kids it would pay off and make us a better football team,” Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said after the game.
“This was a really big win for us.”
It was the first loss of the season for Perry (5-1), and the second in two years to Williams Field, as the schools competed last year as junior varsity squads.
The player of the game was tailback Brandon Warren, who was unstoppable for Williams Field (3-3). The junior rushed for 213 yards on 16 carries and scored three touchdowns. Two of his scores came during a stretch at the end of the second quarter in which Williams Field scored three touchdowns in a span of 4:07.
The highlight was 38-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Gaylord to Aaron Hill on the last play of the half, which gave Williams Field a 20-3 cushion.
“That score at the end of the first half was a killer for us, and it gave (Williams Field) a lot of momentum heading into halftime,” Perry coach Preston Jones said.
“But Williams Field is a great football team, and we knew that coming into the game. They’re by far the best team we’ve played by far.”
Perry’s offense looked solid on its first drive, covering 16 plays and netting 67 yards before having to settle for Anthony Boyd’s 34 yard field goal.
But the rest of the night belonged to Warren and the Williams Field offense, which exploded in the final minutes of the second quarter.
After Warren scored on runs of 5 and 16 yards, Williams Field led 14-3 with 1:36 remaining in the first half and added Hill’s touchdown before halftime.
The momentum carried over into the third quarter, as Williams Field chewed up nearly eight minutes of clock on a 19-play, 67-yard drive.
“That was a fun night to play football, and it was a great atmosphere with homecoming and the crowd,” said Gaylord, who capped the long third-quarter drive with a 5-yard run.