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Housatonic's Williams just wants to win. Story by John Nestor.

POSTED October 18, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney



 
GRANBY - The Housatonic/Wamogo football team is garnering a lot of attention lately. A small school, unconventional offense, charasmatic coach, tough kids you name it, the Mountaineer seem to have it as they continue to be a feel-good football story this season.
 
And when it comes to hard-nosed, unselfish players who just want to win, Housy is loaded with them, starting with senior Donyell Williams.
 
A three-sports standout for the Mountaineers, Williams is having a strong season on the gridiron even though his stats might not always jump out at you from the boxscore. But his fingerprints were all over Housatonics latest win, a 39-8 drubbing of Granby on Saturday, and it was a performance that the Mountaineers are fortunate to have gotten used to.
 
A starter in the backfield on offense and as a defensive back, Williams was all over the field against the Bears, picking up crucial first downs running, setting up the offense in good field position with kick returns and providing solid pass coverage on defense.
 
There may be other players scoring more touchdowns than Williams, Jake Sutterlin continued his outstanding season with four scores Saturday - but almost no other player on the Mountaineers is more crucial to their success.
 
As an example Williams had 57 yards on only eight carries against the Bears and added 70 yards on four kick returns. When Granby scored its lone touchdown of the game to make it 26-6 early in the third quarter Williams was ready with an answer.
 
A big kickoff return gave the Mountaineers the ball inside Bears territory and later in that drive Williams got around the left end for a 15-yard run on 3rd-and-12, keeping the drive alive. Two plays later Sutterlin scores and the game is pretty much put away.
 
"Part of the thing with Jake's big day today was blocks by Donyell," Housy coach Deron Bayer said. "He's a great blocker, very unselfish, and I never have to worry about him complaining about the number of touches or anything like that."
 
One of a number of players for coach Bayer's squad that plays both ways, Williams also made a big impact on defense with seven tackles, an interception and three pass break ups. 
 
"He's a coaches dream in that regard, he's a team player," Bayer said. "He just wants the win for the team."
 
The wins are coming at a pretty good clip this season and the Mountaineers appear to be a program on the rise, building on a 5-5 season a year ago. But it wasn't that long ago that the Mountaineers were struggling and it was only 2009 when they were a one-win team.
 
That's a fact not lost on Williams despite this season's success.
 
"It feels great, we haven't been off to a start like this since the early 90s, the program has just been building up," Williams said. "We know we have the potential to do great things with this team and we just want to keep pushing onward."
 
Williams has been a big part in Housy's success so far and will play a big role in whatever success the Mountaineers have the rest of the way. A Class S school, Housatonic plays a pair of Class L teams and four from Class M the rest of the way. It's a bit of a daunting task, but Williams wasn't phased when talking about what lies ahead, instead you got the feeling he felt the rest of the league should watch out for the Mountaineers, rather than the other way around.
 
"We knew this was a must win and we really wanted to make this a statement game," Williams said. "The word of the week was dominate and we wanted to send a message to the rest of the league. I just think the whole team played great and we were clicking on all cylinders. We know the meatier part of our schedule is coming up so we just have to elevate out game and keep working that much harder."
 
From watching the Mountaineers in three of their four wins this season, I can tell you that them working hard is a given, they are just that kind of team, they are those kids of players, and with someone like Williams as one of their leaders, there is no doubt they will be ready for what the rest of the season throws at them.
 
"Donyell is a great citizen of the school," Bayer said. "He's a three-sport athlete, he's in an honors program and he's just a wonderful kid. Very bright. He's an intelligent young man, he's one of the nicest guys you are ever going to meet, I just can't say enough about him."
 
He's also a heck of a football player and you don't need a box score to see that.

 


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