Lawrence Co. QB focuses on game

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

MONTICELLO – Senior quarterback Casey Williams knows how tofocus on the task at hand. While his father, Thomas Williams,stricken with brain/lung cancer, battled for survival in theUniversity Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit, Casey wasquarterbacking the Lawrence County Cougars to a convincing victoryover the Jackson Wingfield Falcons.

Williams accounted for five touchdowns as the Cougars whippedWingfield 38-20 in Region 6-4A action. He passed for threetouchdowns and ran for 2 as the Cougars (8-1, 4-1) forged a 38-8lead entering the fourth quarter.

For his performance, Williams has been named The DAILY LEADER’sOffensive Player of the Week for the ninth week of the 2003campaign. Williams missed practice four days last week after hisfather was rushed to Jackson. According to Coach Trent Hammond’steam rules, Williams wasn’t allowed to start against Wingfield.

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“I wasn’t going to play Friday because I missed the whole weekbut Coach Hammond told me to go ahead and play,” said Williams.”Everything was working well against Wingfield.”

Williams said his favorite play is Fourteen Lead. “I give a tossfake and keep the ball.”

Williams completed 9 of 13 passes for 133 yards and rushed 8times for 68 yards, giving him 201 yards offense. His touchdownpasses went to Marlon Stanfield for 7 yards, to Chris Jefferson for15 yards and to Ivan Hilliard for 47 yards. He scored TDs on runsof 9 and 1 yards.

Williams praised his offensive line for helping him succeed.

They are Marlon Stanfield and Ivan Hilliard at tight end.Phillip Kimble at center, Cody Yelverton and Hugh Hartzog at guard,and Deon Smith and Cory Williams at tackle.

“They block well for me,” said Williams. He benches 255 poundsand squats with 405. He runs a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash.

Asked about his team’s high level of success this season,Williams said the Cougars are a hard-working, blue-collar team thatsticks together. “We don’t have any superstars over here. We justwork as a team. Working hard is the secret to our success.Everybody is working together this year.”

Williams was one of several Cougars who were recognized as “IronCats” after completing Hammond’s demanding summer weightlifting andconditioning program. It required 28 days of workouts.

“Casey has been extremely steady for us,” said Hammond. “That’swhat makes us go. He has been a starter for three years, runningour offense. He knows what is out there and what is supposed to bedone.

“He’s a pretty good option quarterback,” Hammond continued. “Hegives us another running back in the backfield. He’s a big kid.He’s completed 60 percent of his passes this year. Whenever hethrows it, he usually makes it good.”

According to Hammond, Williams steps it up a notch on Fridaynights. “Casey is a warrior. When the lights come on and there’speople in another uniform, he raises it to a higher level. He lovesto play the game.

“Casey is the ultimate gamer,” Hammond continued. “The tougherthe ballgame, the more he wants the ball.”

Friday night’s Region 6-4A showdown with Brookhaven (7-2, 5-0)should determine first place in the region. Williams said theCougars must control the football and keep it away fromBrookhaven’s big-play offensive stars.

“We have to play as a team and control the ball,” said Williams.”We want to avoid penalties.”

Win or lose, both teams advance to the state playoffs and willhost opening round games Nov. 8.

Looking at the future, Williams said, “I want to play collegefootball.” In baseball, he is a standout pitcher, helping theCougars reach the South State championship series last season.

He said he enjoys following the Ole Miss Rebels. Former LawrenceCounty stars, linebacker Ken Bournes and fullback Lorenzo Townsend,are both on the Ole Miss team.

Williams said he keeps in touch with Bournes and Townsend. “Italk to them every now and then. They said they read about me everyweek.”

In the NFL, Williams likes to follow the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”I like Randy Moss of the Minnesota Vikings. He’s a goodreceiver.”

A solid student in the classroom, Williams said, “I like historyand American government and economics.”

He also makes history on the gridiron.