Dougie Brown was wide-eyed. He was grinning. He was moving with purpose through a field full of classmates, teammates, friends and family.
He was screaming, delivering the same message again and again.
And in the middle of a postgame interview, he grabbed teammate Mekhi Gamble and echoed the theme of the night.
“I told you,” he said, pulling Gamble close. “I told you.”
Brown — a first-year junior starting quarterback — was just one of many heroes for the Williamstown football team Friday night in a dramatic 14-10 nail-biter of a win over Lenape at home in the South Jersey Group 5 championship, marking the Braves’ second straight sectional title and third overall.
“It’s crazy to think that we’re part of history now,” said defensive end and Michigan recruit Aaron Lewis who stripped Lenape quarterback Brady Long on the final play of the game — just one of several huge plays he made down the stretch for a defense that was stellar all night. “I’ll be able to tell my kids about how we won back-to-back sectional championships. I just love my brothers.”
The game was eerily similar to the first time these teams met on Sept. 27.
In that game, the Braves did not record a first down in the first half. They went into the locker room down 13-0 before storming back and beating Lenape, 28-21.
On Friday night, Williamstown recorded just one first down in the first half — its first offensive play of the game — and went into halftime trailing, 10-0.
Just like in that game, the Braves only gained confidence in the locker room. The players said they never stopped believing. And a fearless quarterback mapped out the plan that followed.
“We went in to the locker room, we said, ‘We got this, we’ve been in this situation before,’” said Brown, who handed Lenape (9-2) both of its losses this season. “We have the best coaches in South Jersey. We made halftime adjustments. …
“I told Mekhi before the second half: You make the big play to get us started, we’re winning this game.”
That part, at least, was pure prophesy.
Brown hit Gamble for a 54-yard completion on the fifth play of the third quarter. Three plays later, Brown hit Jonathan Wood for a four-yard touchdown.
Williamstown (10-2) was still trailing, but it had momentum and never lost it.
That was thanks largely to a defensive effort that yielded negative second-half yards until Lenape’s last-ditch-effort final drive.
That drive was preceded by the Braves’ heroic final touchdown.
The drive started at the Lenape 41 with 3:14 left. Brown — who was 7 of 12 passing for 102 yards in the second half — recorded two completions to get the team in to the redzone and Turner Inge pounded the ball in for the go-ahead touchdown.
“It’s a beautiful feeling, to share with my teammates, to share with my community, it’s just amazing,” Gamble said. “We just kept saying that we’ve been here before. We’ve been here before. We’ve faced adversity all season. We were prepared for this.”
Lenape 0 10 0 0 — 10
Williamstown 0 0 7 7 — 14
L: Xavier Coleman 4 run (Dylan Shank kick)
L: Shank 26 field goal
W: Jonathon Wood 4 pass from Dougie Brown (Brendan Amico kick)
W: Turner Inge 1 run (Amico kick)