For eight quarters this season the Williams Field defense hasn't been flawless, but they've impenetrable.
Friday, the defending champions went on the road to the Deer Valley Skyhawks nest and won 13-0, to move to 2-0. Their 16th consecutive victory.
The Deer Valley offensive line was paving holes, courtesy of behemoths Joey Ramos and Brandon McCrea for running back Dez Melton. But, the game plan was easy to key on as Eric Bolus’s offense became predictable.
Losing nine starters on the defensive side of the ball is normally brutal and Blackhawks senior defensive lineman Jackson Vaught mentioned how they've adjusted so far.
"We lost a bunch but we've had guys step up and it's fun to see,” Vaught said. “As for a key moment tonight, we flipped momentum after they came out of the locker room and found some success, we stopped it. Kind of that bend, but don't break mentality, we're seeking."
The defense wasn't to be entirely outdone.
Zack Shepherd found Noah Poa-Gates for 60 yards in stride a few minutes into the second and that, oddly enough, was all that was necessary in the win.
"We had missed on a few,” Shepherd said. “But we knew the route was there. Noah has the speed to get by into some space.”
To the delight of the packed home faithful, Deer Valley's defense kept their ball club in the contest. It held at 7-0 for about 90-minutes real time.
Williams Field (2-0) added insurance thanks to Shepherd's keeper up the middle from 13-yards out. That dagger came off good field position when the Skyhawks failed to convert on a fourth and seven.
The tale last season was how Williams Field could score with their college-athletes at various positions. Their new nucleus is now beginning to construct also.
"I've said it, and I firmly believe, we have the best defensive staff in the state,” Williams Field head coach Steve Campbell said. “They work extremely hard putting in a game-plan to enable the kids to be successful. We returned two on that side of the ball."
He emphasized the philosophy they're trying to institute. Was a key component to the kids buying in.
"We can only focus on ourselves. We can't control the outside factors,” Campbell said.
Deer Valley (0-1) moved the ball but they'll seek more of a multi-dimensional attack as they get rival Mountain Ridge next week.
Williams Field will return home for their week 2 matchup as they are set to take on the Ironwood Eagles, who fell to Campo Verde Friday night, 49-22.