GLENDALE – The final drive for Williams Field, that little thing that ate up clock and never gave back the ball, had some critical moments.
The kind that all coaches have to make in order to win state championships.
The Black Hawks took over with five minutes left in the game, up 14-6, knowing the the 5A Conference state title was just 300 seconds away from being theirs.
Williams Field faced a third-and-5 from its 12 and a third-and-13 from its 28.
Passing the ball in those situations is not exactly in every coach’s thought process. Run the ball, and more importantly the clock.
Steve Campbell doesn’t think like most coaches.
Williams Field threw both times, converted both times, on the way to running the clock to 0.00.
“He has always been a gambler,” his father, Jerry, said. “He is always going to go for the big play.”
Campbell, who was a quarterback in his playing days, always puts faith in the guy running the huddle – this time a sophomore in Zack Shepherd - and he wasn’t going to change on the big stage.
“We made a decision when it came into it that we were going to be the best version of Williams Field that we could,” Campbell said. “We did those type of plays all year long.”
The first call was a pass to senior Max Fine, who came all away across the line field on an underneath route to catch the ball in stride and pick up 19 yards.
“I love that they put their faith in me,” said Fine, who had five catches for 74 yards. “I didn’t have my usual game, but Zack gave it to me in a great spot.”
The second third down call is were the gambler really came out. Third and 13 with about 3 minutes left. He could have run the ball, let the clock dwindle and put the defense back out there.
Instead Shepherd, who finished 11 of 21 for 152 yards, hit Justis Stokes for 30 yards and just about sealed the win.
“I’m glad he trusted me with the ball,” Shepherd said. “It was a play we knew would work, and if we got it, it would win it. Justis ran a great route and after that it was just a matter of time.”
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