Church Point’s Frederick Williams has scored in almost every way conceivable this season, but his true value to the No. 5 Bears may not be the points he’s scored but the ones he’s prevented.
Patrolling the back end of Church Point’s defense at strong safety, Williams has relied on his track background in some cases to provide touchdown-saving tackles that were pivotal in early-season wins and helped the Bears remain on a collision course with school history.
Church Point (8-0, 3-0) travels to Ville Platte (3-5, 2-1) in a District 5-3A contest Friday at 7 before closing with a potential showdown at home in Week 10 against No. 10 Livonia (7-0, 3-0).
“You’ve at least got to try and not give up,” Williams said. “You never know what you’re capable of doing. I decided not to give up and not let my team down.”
The most glaring example of Williams’ persistence took place during a Week 3 encounter with Cecilia and its electric running back Raymond Calais.
Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux said that while Calais, one of the state’s leading rushers, did his share of damage, Williams prohibited it from being worse with a couple of tackles from behind that enabled his defense to regroup and keep Cecilia within striking distance with the Bears going onto a 40-36 victory.
“Trying to catch him,” Williams said of the dynamic Calais, “you have to really haul it. He had a blocker one time and scored, but I saved another one.”
A week later, in a 49-33 win over Loreauville, Williams was back in his role as Church Point’s last line of defense with what Arceneaux described as four or five potential touchdowns that were turned away because of the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder’s all-out pursuit.
“We wound up stopping them on those drives and not giving up any points,” Arceneaux said. “We play him part time on offense because he’s so very valuable to us on defense.”
Williams, who’s averaging 6-8 tackles this season, was a Class 3A honorable mention selection in his first season as a starter, piling up 59 tackles, 13 pass breakups, five interceptions (one returned for a TD) and three blocked kicks.
“It felt good because it was one of my goals,” William said of the All-State honor. “I want to try and do better.”
Church Point diversified Williams’ role this season in order to take advantage of his momentum-changing talents, alternating him with Tyler Wheeler in the backfield to compliment the Bears’ potent 1-2 punch of Darion Monroe and Christian Veronie.
The result has been another headache for opponents with the fleet-footed Williams averaging 18.42 yards per carry with 31 rushes for 571 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s also caught 5 passes for 250 yards — an average of 50 yards per catch — and three scores.
“He definitely adds a different element because he’s the fastest kid on our team.” Arceneaux said. “Every time he touches it, he’s a threat to go the distance.”
Williams, who was fifth in the state in the 400 meters last spring, has become increasingly comfortable with his role on special teams, giving Church Point another way to score or enhance its field position.
Williams has averaged 29.66 yards on 9 kickoffs — two of which have resulted in touchdowns — and 30.8 yards on seven punt returns, with one being brought back for a score.
In last week’s 56-14 league win over Port Barre, Williams returned a kickoff (87) and punt (55) for touchdowns and added 70 yards on the ground and another score.
Williams has figured in 52 plays on offense and special teams, produced 1,304 yards for a staggering 25 yards every time he touches the ball and 13 touchdowns. He’s also returned an interception for a TD and blocked a pair of extra points.
“Coach tells us we all have a role on this team,” William said. “If all the roles come together, it’s like the pieces of a puzzle. If they all come together, the picture’s going to be complete. I just try and do my job.”