Sto-Rox QB Williams leads rout of Apollo-Ridge
Already known as a dual-talent, maybe they should start calling Lenny Williams a triple-threat quarterback.
Not only does the WPIAL's all-time leading passing leader from Sto-Rox throw and run well, but he also wins.
For the third straight season, he's led the Vikings to the semifinals, and could be in line for another trip to Heinz Field for the third time in a row.
Williams completed 15 of 29 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns as top-seeded Sto-Rox bounced No. 9 Apollo-Ridge, 42-20, on Friday night in a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal at Deer Lakes' Lancer Stadium.
Williams also found time to rush for 74 yards and two touchdowns, intercept a pass, catch a two-point conversion and do a few push-ups on the field after a pass play on defense.
“We do (push-ups) in practice when we do something wrong,” said Williams, a 6-foot, 200-pound senior. “I kind of got beat on that play and had to punish myself.”
He spent the rest of the night punishing Apollo-Ridge.
“We had read some things (Apollo-Ridge) said about how they thought they could match up with us and that motivated us,” said Williams, who connected with seven different receivers. “I think that fueled me to come out and play well. It's a lot easier said than done to match up with us.”
Sto-Rox (11-0) advances to play Clairton in the semifinals.
“It was great to see what we could do in a four-quarter game,” Sto-Rox coach Dan Bradley said. “The kids were motivated by some things they read this week and they took it to heart. It will great to play Clairton again, but we weren't thinking about them. We're a one-week-at-a-time team.”
Apollo-Ridge went ahead 7-6 early on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Jesse Zelonka to Alex Smith.
Apollo-Ridge, which held Sto-Rox scoreless in the third quarter, ends the season at 8-3.
“We had some opportunities in the first half, but a lot of their big plays were on us,” Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba said. “There were a lot of self-imploded plays.”
As has become customary, Sto-Rox spread the field to allow Williams room to operate. He connected on his first eight passes and was 16-for-18 for 271 yards in the first half.
He threw touchdown passes of 48, 62 and 27 yards, two of which went to his favorite target, Mallory Clayburn.
Brandon Blair and Elisa Bonner also caught scoring passes for Sto-Rox, which led, 34-14, at halftime.
Tre Tipton caught seven passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns for Apollo-Ridge. Zelonka completed 10 of 21 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns and an interception.
“The most frustrating thing is that I'm not sure how much better of a team they are than us,” Skiba said. “They have so many skilled players; more bodies than us.”
Clayburn caught three passes for 82 yards.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor for the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.