October 5, 2009 2:56:00 PM
AMORY -- Forest Williams used something Friday night he didn''t know he had.
When the Amory High School sophomore quarterback broke through the line of scrimmage in the third quarter, he outran the Caledonia High School defense on his way to a 55-yard touchdown.
Williams was surprised he had enough speed to break away.
"I don''t ever get that in practice because I don''t have people chasing me," Williams said.
Williams rushed 13 times for 140 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers'' 28-0 victory at Longenecker Field.
Prior to his long scoring run, Williams noticed something Caledonia was doing on defensive and took advantage of it.
"They were running two sets of defensive linemen and I knew it would be there on the second-team linemen, so I had in my mind to pull," Williams said. "The cornerback didn''t know I had the ball because he went with the fullback and I had the hole."
The touchdown gave Amory a 14-0 lead with 9 minutes, 41 seconds remaining in the third quarter. His first score of 5 yards came at the 9:57 mark of the first quarter. He also had an 8-yard touchdown with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
Amory coach Pat Byrd said Williams is beginning to use his athletic ability in concert with his knowledge of running the triple option. He has to keep reminding himself Williams is still only a sophomore.
"At times, he reads it well," Byrd said. "When he reads it, he runs it well. There were a few times he missed some reads. We won''t be able to do that next week. You miss some reads against Noxubee (County), they''ll turn somebody upside down."
The Panthers will travel Friday to play the defending Class 4A state champions.
This is only the second week Amory has had the triple option as part of its offense.
Even though Williams realizes there''s more to learn, he''s becoming more comfortable in his first season as a starting quarterback.
"At first, it was rough and I was having a tough time with the reads," Williams said. "It''s getting easier."
After the Panthers had lost six consecutive games to open the season, Williams was all smiles after getting the team''s first victory in the Class 4A, Region 4, District 4 opener.
"Forget we were 0-6, we''re 1-0 in the division now," Williams said.
After reaching the second round of the Class 3A playoffs last season, Amory struggled in the first half of this season.
Byrd hopes his team can get on a roll now that the division race has started.
"Winning the first one is always the most difficult thing," Byrd said. "Hopefully, we can go back, look at the film, and see the positive things we did and build off them. Maybe we have the chance to turn the table a little bit, and maybe this will give them a spark. They''ve come to work every day in practice, which is not easy to do in the situation they''ve been in."
The Panthers, who celebrated homecoming, didn''t make things easy on the Confederates.
Caledonia (0-6, 0-1) had difficulty sustaining drives and committed four turnovers.
Sophomore quarterback Brandon Bell had all four of the turnovers (three interceptions, fumble).
Those mistakes, coupled with 10 penalties for 77 yards, left Caledonia coach David Boykin speechless.
When asked to comment on the game, Boykin repeated, "I don''t have a comment."
The Confederates only managed 19 yards passing and 48 yards rushing. Bell was the leading rusher with 24 yards on 12 carries.
It was the third time Caledonia was held scoreless this season. The Confederates will try again to get a win Friday when they play host to Houston.
Byrd expected Caledonia to be motivated in the district opener, and he was proud of his team''s effort, especially on defense, and its ability not to allow the Confederates to establish any momentum.
"Caledonia played hard and are always going to," Byrd said. "We''ve still got some kinks to iron out offensively, but as we continue to grow and learn as a young football team, we''ll improve offensively and defensively."
Amory senior running back Joreel Freeman, who had the other touchdown with a 4-yard run with 8:25 left in the third quarter, had 80 yards rushing on six carries.
1. Howland completes first coaching staff at MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Prescott embraces return to football practice COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU baseball begins weekend with shutout losses to Auburn COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU looks to build on historic women's basketball season COLLEGE SPORTS