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By Bryan Hoopaugh
The Devils preseason opener started and finished with a bang as the Red Devils defeated the Central High School Bears 25-6 last Friday night. The Devils’ defense showed their strength on the Bears’ opening drive forcing and recovering a fumble on the second play of the game.
Williston gained possession and after three plays for a short gain missed a 32-yard field goal that bounced off the bottom of the uprights and gave the Bears possession on their own 22-yard line.
On the next snap Williston’s defense forced another fumble and recovered on the Bears’ 18-yard line. One play later, senior Demikul Robinson scampered 18 yards into the end zone for the first score of the game. The points after failed giving Williston a 6-0 lead just minutes into the first quarter.
Again, Williston’s defense displayed a barrier against anything the Bears could run and forced three and out resulting in a punt. Williston’s Devon Webb returned the punt all the way to the house for Williston’s second score of the game. An unsportsman-like penalty against Williston for taunting on the way into the end zone pushed the point after back 15 yards. The two point attempt failed with an incomplete pass into the back corner of the end zone.
Williston went into the second quarter up 12-0. The Red Devil defense continued their display of dominance forcing one punt and two possession changes on downs, but penalties and fumbles plagued the offense. All three drives in the second resulted in loss of possession by forced fumble and the second quarter ended with no scores.
Williston threatened the red zone in the third putting together an 11 play drive with the highlight play being a 21-yard completion to the one yard line only to lose the ball on the handoff on the three yard line. Defense to the rescue again!
On Central High’s very next snap the Devils’ defense forced another fumble and recover in the end zone for Williston’s third TD of the game. Jorge Deciderio’s kick for the point after was good giving Williston a 19-0 lead with 5:45 left in the third quarter.
Central High then had their most impressive drive of the game. But, after seven plays and reaching across the 50 for the first time in the game, they lost the ball to Williston with yet another forced fumble.
Williston would end the third quarter with a good punt return of 22 yards and still able to move the ball with ease. Sophomore Willie Duncan showed his speed with a 40-yard gain off the left side but the quarter ended before the drive could reach the endzone.
The fourth quarter belonged to the JV teams and the game clock was set at 10 minutes instead of 12 and the JV squads took the field.
Williston’s JV, much like the varsity, had no problem moving the ball against the Bears, but penalties killed them. On the first series Williston had two touchdowns negated by penalties. The first was a 30 yard strike from Britton Hall to Reggie Days that was brought back due to an ineligible receiver down field penalty. A second score by number 12 Days came back by an illegal shift call and Williston ended up turning the ball over on downs.
The Bears then were able to put together a drive and score on Williston with 20.1 seconds remaining in the game. The point after was no good making the score 19-6 Williston.
Williston’s JV wasn’t done yet. Hall led a three play drive including a 58-yard pass completion giving Williston first and goal with just seconds remaining. One play later Williston would put up the last score of the game. The point after failed making the final score 25-6 Williston.