-- West Johnston’s Cameron Williams rushed for three touchdowns and passed for another in a 40-20 victory over South Johnston.
West Johnston built a three-touchdown lead thanks to a relentless rushing attack.
Williams displayed solid decision making in the first half running the option to help the Wildcats take control.
When Williams kept the ball, as he did on the Wildcats' first offensive possession of the first half, good things happened. The senior faked the hand-off to his tailback and then proceeded to find the edge himself en route to a 72-yard dash to the end zone for the early lead.
"He did a really nice job tonight," West Johnston coach Jimmy Williams said of his quarterback. "He did make a lot of quality reads, particularly in the first half.
"He definitely had a great game tonight."
Williams ended the night with 169 yards through the air, including a 24-yard touchdown strike to Noah Liles, and 160 more yards on the ground.
The next series for West Johnston featured running back Jowann Holder as the junior took the final four snaps of the drive for the Wildcats and capped off the 76-yard drive with a plunge up the middle from three yards out for the 14-0 lead.
The stout Wildcats defense helped give the offense an edge the next time out, forcing the Trojans to punt from deep in its own end. The good field position that resulted was turned into more points as Williams found Liles in the corner of the end zone for the 21-0 lead.
South Johnston put together its best drive just before halftime in an attempt to grab back some of the momentum that the Wildcats had methodically taken hold of over the first 18 minutes.
First-year quarterback DeParis Patterson found standout wide receiver D.D. Harris for a couple key completions that opened up some of the running lanes that had been clogged up by the front seven of the West Johnston defense up to that point.
Eric Bowles muscled his way free and found open room on the right side and drew the Trojans to within 21-7 late in the first half on a 17-yard rushing touchdown.
The Trojans (0-2), in similar fashion to their Week 1 loss to East Wake, tried to fight back in the second half, twice clawing to within two scores, but could not dig themselves out of the first half hole.
"We're still young offensively and it's a new system," first-year South Johnston coach Hunter Jenks said. "I think it's part of growing pains. I think we do have a lot of potential but our margin of error is small right now. When we miss opportunities, it puts us in a real bad situation."
Bowles rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns while Caeleb Robinson found pay dirt for the Trojans' third score.
First-year quarterback DeParis Patterson threw for 209 yards in defeat.
Patterson's ability to move the ball down the field in the air has Jenks excited for what could be when the offense starts to click.
"When we put in our system, all the plays kind of work off each other," aid Jenks. "The players are starting to see it. Our players are doing a very good job at making adjustments off the defense."
As for the Wildcats, the focus turns to another county foe next Friday as West Johnston will travel just a few miles down the road to take on Cleveland.
"We start the year off with three big county rival games," Williams said after defeating Smithfield-Selma last week. "We'll just prepare for Cleveland and rock on. We can't ask for ore than what we are right now and we're taking one game at a time."