DeWitt Josiah Williams was not with his teammates in the Jamesville-DeWitt football locker room before the Red Rams' game against Fulton Friday night. J-D head coach Eric Ormond didn’t even know if his star running back would arrive before the second half as the Red Rams jogged out for warm ups.
Williams was attending his grandmother’s wake that afternoon. However, he was able to arrive in time.
“Are you okay?” Ormond asked Williams when he approached him on the near sideline.
“Yeah I’m all warmed up,” Williams replied.
“No I don’t mean that. I mean are you okay? Are you okay to go?”
“Yeah coach, I am.”
And Williams proved it.
Leading the Red Rams onto the field, Williams backpedaled diagonally toward the end zone. His hips swiveled with each skipping step. His broad shoulders swung loosely. Cutting through the cloud of fog that sat over the field at J-D High School, Williams’ red helmet shimmered under the lights as his body moved in perfect synchronization.
Peering out between the bars on his facemask at the swarm of Red Ram teammates in front of him, Williams lifted his right hand and rhythmically jazzed it back and forth.
It was almost game time — and this one would be special.
“I just started thinking about her,” Williams said, referring to his grandmother. “That just really motivated me to play tonight.”
Racking up 141 yards and three touchdowns, Williams helped lead J-D to a dominating 42-0 shutout over the Red Raiders.
The 6-foot-2, 183-pound senior finished with nine carries for 72 yards and a touchdown, to go with 69 receiving yards on a pair of impressive scoring tosses from freshman quarterback Jack Brotzki.
Brotzki and his pallet of playmakers, most notably Williams and junior running back Rasheed Baker, who ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns, throttled the Red Raiders defense for 449 yards of total offense.