In a Jekyll and Hyde game that saw many flashes of brilliance peppered with bad penalties or missed opportunities, Gilbert Williams Field defeated visiting Chandler Seton Catholic 44-28 in a 4A II East Sky Region game.
“We continue to kill ourselves,” Seton coach Rex Bowser said.
“We had too many mental mistakes,” Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said.
To some extent, both were right. But when things were going well for each teams offense, they were going very well.
Williams Field (5-0, 2-0) posted 543 yards of total offense. Senior running back Brandon Warren led the way with 198 yards on 18 carries. He scored two touchdowns.
Of those 543 yards, a whopping 339 came in the first half.
“We didn’t play defense in the first half,” Bowser said.
The Black Hawks opened the game with a 13-play, 70-yard drive that took half the quarter and was capped by Josh Montoya’s 1-yard plunge.
For Seton (1-4, 0-3), the first 18 minutes of the game saw very limited offensive production. After misfiring on seven of his first eight passes, Sentinel quarterback Justin Sieczkowski found a rhythm. Hitting 10 of his next 12, Seton managed to stay within striking distance.
It did not hurt that Williams Field committed 16 penalties, several of which kept Seton drives alive.
“We got sloppy,” Campbell said.
Despite the infractions, Sentinel receivers dropped at least three sure touchdowns that would have put them near the lead.
“We got nothing (out of those opportunities),” Bowser said.
In the second half, Seton stymied the Black Hawks. After steamrolling through the first half, Williams Field could muster only one first down in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Black Hawks seemed to have put the game away on a Tom Ross 37-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Weybrecht.
But Seton scored twice in less than two minutes on a 4-yard run by Greg Rodriguez and a 15-yard touchdown pass from Sieczkowski to Trevor Gleisner.
With the score at 38-28, and momentum on Seton’s side, a wild finish looked inevitable.
Warren, however, had other ideas. With 4:38 remaining, Warren broke a 70-yard run. Two plays later he scored from 19 yards out.
“We knew were putting the game away,” Warren said.
For Williams Field, the 5-0 start was enhanced by a brief appearance by starting quarterback Nick Gaylord, who played on the Balck Hawks’ opening drive. Gaylord, out since being injured during the first game of the season, completed one pass for 9 yards. He also had 32 yards on two carries.
“We’re bringing him along slowly,” Campbell said.
“It felt good to get back in the game,” Gaylord said.
LIVE IN-GAME UPDATES
Out since the first game of the season, Williams Field quarterback Nick Gaylord leads the Black Hawks on an opening 13-play, 70-yard drive to take a 6-0 lead against Seton Catholic.
Brandon Warren's 31-yard touchdown run gives Williams Field a 12-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Aaron Hill's 52-yard punt return set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Alex Howard, giving Williams Field a 20-0 lead late in the first half.
Seton Catholic gets on the board as quarterback Justin Sieczkowski hits Ethan Springston on a 31-yard TD pass, cutting Williams Field's lead to 20-7 late in the first half.
With 32 seconds left in the half, Seton quarterback Justin Sieczkowski hits Trevor Gleisner on an 11-yard touchdown to make it 28-14 Williams Field.
Williams Field comes right back with a 29-yard FG by Christian Garcia to make it a 31-14 Black Hawksat halftime. Williams Field went 69 yards in 28 seconds.
After Williams Field opens the fourth quarter with a 37-yard TD pass from Tom Ross to Justin Clark, Seton responds with a 4-yard TD run by Greg Rodriguez, making it 38-21 Williams Field.
After Seton recovered an onside kick, Justin Sieczkowski hit Trevor Gleisner on a 15-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 38-28 Williams Fiel late in the fourth.
Williams Field's Brandon Warren ends Seton's comeback efforts with a 19-yard touchdown run, making the score 44-28 with 3:01 left in the game.
Seton (1-3, 0-2) at Williams Field (4-0, 1-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Address: 2076 S Higley Road, Gilbert
Key matchup: Williams Field has given up only 14 points in the last three games, but the Sentinels can put up points in a hurry. It should be an interesting matchup.
Key stat: Seton ran for just 43 yards on 26 carries last week. It must be more balanced on offense.
The intrigue: This is the biggest test so far for Williams Field. The Black Hawks can cement themselves as East Sky contenders by beating a talented Seton team. The Sentinels lost a heartbreaker to Coronado two weeks ago and then to Notre Dame last week, so a win is desperately needed.