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Williams helps West Catholic advance to state finals

As much as David Williams would love to win a state football title, one has to wonder whether the experience would semi-pale.

As much as David Williams would love to win a state football title, one has to wonder whether the experience would semi-pale.

To what?

Hey, he has already played for a national champion.

In 2004, at age 10, Williams was a shared-time tailback (with George Washington's English "Buddy" Peay and Simon Gratz' Khalil Farrell) for the North Philly Aztecs, who trekked to the Disney complex in Florida and defeated a team from Huntington Beach, Calif., in the 100-pound Pop Warner Super Bowl.

"That whole thing was pretty cool," Williams said. "That was my first airplane ride, and we got to do all the Disney stuff.

"Later, they let us play on the field at the Linc at halftime of the Eagles-Cowboys game. We weren't out there too long, though. We played against the Lansdale Cannoneers. They got the ball and scored - I was at cornerback - then we had to get off the field."

These days, the 5-11, 180-pound Williams is a sophomore at West Catholic High, having transferred in the wake of North Catholic's shuttering, and his grid life hasn't featured much change.

He's still a shared-time tailback. And still doesn't mind.

The occasion Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium was a PIAA Class AA semifinal. With Williams producing 85 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and providing a perfect complement to senior franchise Brandon Hollomon (18-208, TD), the Burrs bested Lewisburg, 21-7.

This Saturday, on the same field (noon start), they'll go against South Fayette. The La Salle-North Allegheny battle for AAAA laurels will follow at 5.

Williams was not the happiest of come-out-of-campers at the start of the season. He thought he'd performed well enough in workouts and scrimmages to be Hollomon's partner, but that role went to Joshua Mathis.

Williams saw action in just one of West's first three games. A ding sidelined Hollomon in Week 4, however, and Williams fared well (14-117, two TDs) in a win over Haverford School. Now he owns 742 yards and 15 TDs on 86 carries (8.6 average).

"I took that Haverford game as a chance to show myself," he said. "I had to play to the best of my ability. Take advantage of the opportunity. The coaches said they liked me, and I've been out there ever since.

"I like sharing the position. Because you're not out there all the time, you're getting enough rest. It's like you're always 100 percent."

Hollomon and Williams alternate by possession. Usually. But in this game, Williams' 1-yard TD topped off one of Hollomon's sets. That sometimes happens when the ball is close to the goal line, as coach Brian Fluck likes to go with Williams' larger frame.

On the Burrs' second scoring drive, capped by backup quarterback Jaleel Reed from the 1, Williams carried five times for 68 yards, his best jaunt a 29-yarder.

"It was handoff to the left," he said. "They really had it stacked to that side, so I just cut it back."

Though a 10-yard fumble return by Merle Moscarello enabled Lewisburg to draw within 14-7 with 4 minutes, 53 seconds left, Hollomon removed the suspense with a 65-yard scoring run. He now boasts 3,151 career yards, just 8 short of his brother, Rob (WC class of 2009).

West held the Green Dragons to 91 yards. Jim Lynch posted two sacks and another tackle-for-loss among nine stops. Kevin Malone (seven) and T-J Waters (six) also made strong showings while Devante "Butterball" Ford and Marquise Gordon notched one sack apiece.

Williams, who lives near 21st and Cheltenham in West Oak Lane, was known as David M. (for McKinley) Williams during his one season at North to avoid being confused with the team's top defensive player, linebacker David D. Williams. Though this Williams' first thought was to transfer to La Salle (he's good friends with star Jamal Abdur-Rahman, of 19th and Cheltenham), he said he applied too late and thus opted to follow ex-Falcons Anthony Reid, Dave Sherman and Mike Makor to West.

Since this game started at 1 and necessitated a bus ride, the Burrs met at West at 7:30, wolfed down breakfast and then departed.

"I was wearing my headphones," Williams said. "I use the music to help me get hyped. I was listening to rap and party music."

What, no Disney tunes?