Much talk surrounding the DeLeSalle football team entering this season has been about quarterback Reid Travis, a 6-8 junior with an arm that has college coaches drooling. Seniors Jareid Combs, Chad Fahning and Oscar Opara -- all Division I recruits --have gotten attention, too.
But when the Islanders needed a big play Friday at home against St. Anthony, they turned to junior running back Chris Williams -- twice.
Williams broke runs of 79 and 55 yards in the second half, helping DeLaSalle's struggling offense open up the scoring in a 31-20 Tri-Metro Conference victory.
"They were huge runs, and our line did a great job opening it up," DeLaSalle coach Sean McMenomy said. "Chris is a great runner and works his tail off. It was great to see that."
Williams finished the night with 254 yards on the ground and another 50 receiving.
"I needed to do that for the team," Williams said. "The offensive line did a great job blocking, and I just ran hard."
Travis went 9-for-12 passing for 99 yards and ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Combs, who played both ways all night, had six sacks and forced a fumble from the defensive end spot.
But it was a struggle early for the Islanders, despite looking like a heavy favorite on paper. Coming into the game, it seemed the only way for the Islanders to lose would be to beat themselves. And for the first quarter, that's exactly what they did, fumbling on each of their first three possessions while penalties derailed two others.
With DeLaSalle up 13-0 at halftime, Williams' 79-yarder early in the third quarter helped the Islanders get going. His 55-yard run in the fourth thwarted a mild St. Anthony comeback.
Quarterback Ryan Rush completed nine of 13 passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns for the Huskies.