Zayne Williams enjoys being the Rural Retreat High School quarterback so much, he wouldn’t mind handling the job indefinitely.
“It’s awesome,” Williams said. “I feel like I’m supposed to be here another four years. It’s almost like college. I feel like I can just keep running the offense. I know what’s going on and how to read it.”
The senior’s prep eligibility expires after the 2011 season and he’s made sure his final year under center has produced positive results for the Indians.
Williams threw two touchdown passes to Tyler Holliday and also rushed for two scores as Rural Retreat earned a 45-29 Hogoheegee District victory over Holston on Friday night.
Rural Retreat (7-1, 3-0) remained tied atop the Hogoheegee standings with George Wythe, but not before Holston (3-5, 2-1) gave the Indians a scare.
The scenario didn’t totally surprise Rural Retreat head coach Christopher Moore.
“Way back when I played [at Rural Retreat] they knocked us out of the playoffs one year,” he said. “They’ve only heard that story a thousand times this week. We stepped up when we needed to and started to make plays.”
Williams made some of the biggest plays.
After a field goal by Holston’s Ethan Miller cut Rural Retreat’s lead to 6-3 in the first quarter, Williams responded on the next drive by hooking up with Holliday on a 53-yard scoring strike.
When Holston pulled within 33-23 with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter, Williams orchestrated a six-play, 49-yard drive that ended with running back Tyler Caudill scoring his second touchdown of the game and 14th of the season.
Williams had a key 38-yard pass to Travis Foster on that scoring march. The QB finished with 176 passing yards, 59 rushing yards and was not sacked once.
“Our line has worked hard in the offseason and are still working hard,” Williams said. “We were blowing everybody out of the water.”
Holston had its two-game winning streak snapped, but coach Jason Matlock could take solace in that fact that the Cavaliers hung with one of the area’s top teams.
“I’m proud of our effort,” Matlock said. “Penalties and a couple of big plays killed us in the first half. But to our credit, we kept fighting hard and I’m proud of my guys.”
Daniel Applegate scored two touchdowns for Holston and finished with 113 yards rushing, while freshman quarterback Seth Thomas threw two TD passes.
“From day one until right now we’ve improved tremendously,” Matlock said. “We’ve got to continue to maintain that improvement. I think good things are still yet to come for our football program.”
Rural Retreat’s future looks bright as well. The Indians host Northwood next week and a showdown with George Wythe looms on Nov. 4 in Wytheville.
Having Williams directing the offense has been a vital part of the success.
“He’s got experience. Nothing bothers him,” Moore said. “He’s doing real well.”
Rural Retreat 12 14 13 6—45
Holston 3 6 14 6—29
RR—Langston 64 run (pass failed)
H—Miller 26 FG
RR—Holliday 53 pass from Williams (kick failed)
RR—Williams 4 run (Foster kick)
RR—Williams 11 run (Foster kick)
H—Milhorne 32 run (pass failed)
H—Cornett 44 pass from S. Thomas (Miller kick)
RR—Caudill 2 run (Foster kick)
H—Applegate 17 pass from S. Thomas (Miller kick)
RR—Caudill 2 run (kick failed)
RR—Holliday 35 pass from Williams (kick failed)
H—Applegate 75 fumble return (no attempt)
First downs: RR 21, H 7; Rushes-Yards: RR 45- 323, H 35-150; Passing Yards: RR 176, H 104; Comp.-Att.-Int.: RR 6-8-1, H 4-7-1; Fumbles-Lost: RR 2-1, H 0-0; Penalties-yards: RR 7-60, H 8-60.