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Yes, it did get a little tight in the second half, but Williston handled the pressure and the fundamentals well to ease past Chiefland, 35-21, in an intra-county football game last Friday night.
Williston will play host to Trinity Catholic this week, with a 7:30 game Friday night. Each team is 2-0.
The Devils' running game was in high gear last Friday as speedsters Travis Evans, Deonte Welch, Courtney Days and quarterback Dalton Edwards sprinted through, around, and sometimes over the Indians en route to piling up 350 yards rushing. Both Edwards and Evans beat the 100-yard mark, with the quarterback doing it in the first half.
Even so, it took a big interception return by Desmond Holmes, his second of the game, to turn the final momentum in favor of the visitors.
The Devils dominated the first half with a stifling defense and powerful offense. After Chris Morrow set the tone with a big sack on the first Chiefland series, the Devils took over after only a six-yard punt and drove to the 16 but stalled on an incomplete pass. In fact, Williston didn't complete a pass in the few tosses it tried.
But the defense held again and the Indians made another mistake, this time slamming into Evans who was waiting to field the punt. That put the ball at the Chiefland 39. Edwards kept it for 20, had to fall on a fumble for a loss of two, and then Evans went up the middle, cut to the left and scored from 21 yards out. Chris Priest, who was steady on all five extra points, made it 7-0.
Four plays later the Devils had the ball again as James Hunt fell on a Chiefland fumble.
From its own 46, Williston started a drive that carried into the second period. Early in the second quarter Edwards kept the ball around left end, got blocks from Days and Priest and ran in for a 14-0 lead.
Williston had two interceptions in the quarter, one by Holmes and the other by Isaac Floyd, which set up the last TD of the half. Floyd had his face mask tugged and that put the ball on the Indians' 45. On the first play Evans swept left end for 23 yards, and on the next play Edwards kept it around the same spot for 32 yards and a touchdown. At the half it went to 21-0.
Things didn't go well for Williston early in the third. An interception on the first play followed by a five-yard touchdown run by Tommy Sheffield made it 21-7 after Garrett Schmidt booted the extra point.
After the Devils couldn't move the ball and had to punt, Chiefland drove 42 yards, with Sheffield getting the TD on a three-yard run, and suddenly it was 21-14.
The Chiefland defense held again and the Indians got the ball back near midfield. But then came Holmes' second interception as he grabbed it about midfield and wasn't caught until he got to the 7. Three plays later Welch scored from the 6, again around a block by Days, and with 31 seconds to go it was 28-14.
While that TD proved big, Chiefland didn't die. The Indians drove in for another score early in the fourth quarter, with Sheffield scoring from five yards out, and it was 28-21.
But this time Williston had an answer, driving 60 yards and using up four minutes to get a TD. The big plays in the drive were runs of 16 and 13 by Welch and a 24-yard rush by Days. Welch scored on a seven-yard pitch around the left side and was able to ease into the end zone for the final 35-21 margin.
Chiefland took the kickoff but got nowhere, and a 10-yard punt gave Williston the ball with 4:12 to go. The Indians never got it back as the Devils steadily pushed downfield, and the visitors were on the 11 when time ran out.