The fifth installment of the Williams Field-Higley showdown had all the anticipation and elements of a legitimate rivalry: There were region title and playoff seeding implications, a standing-room-only crowd, and plenty of electricity in the air well before kickoff.
But a week’s worth of buildup was deflated in only a matter of minutes.
No. 3 Williams Field jumped out of the gates fast and furious, before cruising home to a 42-22 victory over host Higley in a Division III, Section III contest Friday night.
The score wasn't indicative of the lopsided nature of the game.
Williams Field (9-1, 5-1) jumped out to a 28-0 lead just a few minutes into the second quarter with a powerful display of speed and precision on offense.
Running back Jacob Anderson scorched the Higley defense with 212 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns for William’s field. Three of Anderson’s TD’s came in the first half, including runs of 59, 4, and 69 yards.
Quarterback Jeddediah Fagg was equally as effective through the air for Williams Field, throwing for 160 of his 203 yards in the first half, including a 70-yard score to Josh Page midway through the first quarter.
“We did what we wanted to do tonight by scoring early,” Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said. “(Higley) isn’t used to coming from behind.”
Higley (7-3, 4-1) was already without starting quarterback Tyler Bloom. Williams Fields’ defense effectively shut down the Higley rushing attack for most of the evening. After falling behind 28-0 early in the second quarter, it was Higley’s special teams which temporarily stopped the bleeding. After finally forcing a Williams Field punt, Higley’s James Garcia broke through and blocked the attempt, giving Higley the ball at Williams Field's 5-yard line. Two plays later, fullback Mason Johnson scored for Higley. The two-point conversion made it 28-8 Williams’ Field.
Higley’s defense was able to keep Williams Field out of the end zone until halftime. But Anderson and Fagg led the Black Hawks on an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive to start the third quarter. Anderson added his fourth score of the night from 2 yards out, giving Williams Field a commanding 35-8 lead.
Josh Page added an 11-yard scoring run of his own in midway through the fourth quarter for a 42-8 Williams Field lead
Higley backup quarterback Bayley Cook tossed a pair of late touchdowns to Nick Colson and Trent Gilbert to cap the scoring.
Entering the contest, Higley stood at No. 9 in the power point rankings. Williams Field will host a first-round game next Friday night.
Williams Field 42 Higley 22
First Downs: WF 16, Higley 10
Rushing: WF 21-256, Higley 33-107
Passing (Comp.-Att.-Yards-TD-INT): WF 12-22-234-1-2, Higley 8-19-161-2-2
Fumbles-lost: WF 2-0, Higley 2-0
Penalties: WF 10-90, Higley 4-38
WF 21 7 7 7 -- 42
Higley 0 8 0 14 -- 22
WF-Anderson 59 run (Blake Ruiz kick)
WF-Page70 reception from Fagg (Ruiz kick)
WF-Anderson 4 run (Ruiz kick)
WF-Anderson 69 run
H-Johnson 3 run (Hunter pass from Cook)
WF-Anderson 2 run (Ruiz kick)
WF-Page 11 run (Ruiz kick)
H-Colson 86 reception from Cook (Miller kick)
H-Gilbert 15 reception from Cook (Miller Cook)