Williamstown romps past Shawnee

Posted: September 15, 2012

In the old days, Thanksgiving was the perfect time to play the perfect football game.

November still is a good month to make it happen, and the first weekend in December is even better.

But the second week of September? A full seven days before the end of summer?

If things go according to plan, Williamstown will have 10 more chances to play as well as it performed Friday night.

But the Braves can only hope to bottle some of their mid-September magic, to shake well and break open come the start of the South Jersey Group 5 playoffs.

"One step at a time," Williamstown senior linebacker Derek Lauria said after his team's 39-0 victory over Shawnee in a shockingly one-sided clash of Top 10 teams.

Lauria said he told his teammates one word after their postgame huddle: "Cherokee."

That's the Braves' next opponent, although everybody knows the game after that one will be a visit to powerful Timber Creek.

It's tempting to look ahead after a game such as this one, when No. 4 Williamstown (2-0) so thoroughly outplayed No. 7 Shawnee (1-1) that the 35-point mercy rule - which institutes a running clock - was in effect for the final 11 minutes, 55 seconds of the fourth quarter.

This was flawless football: Williamstown committed zero turnovers, scored five rushing touchdowns, punted once (late in fourth quarter), completely stifled Shawnee's offense, and came up with two interceptions.

Oh, and the Braves also scored on a punt return.

"They did anything they wanted to do," Shawnee coach Tim Gushue said. "We haven't had many of those, ever, ever, ever."

It was a performance worth three "evers" from the opposing coach, a guy who has been around for 30 years and has built Shawnee into one of the most prestigious programs in South Jersey.

But this game wasn't close. Williamstown ripped off scoring drives of 69, 86, and 65 yards in the first half. The Braves had four touchdowns before the Renegades had a first down. At that point, Williamstown had 26 points and Shawnee had 28 yards.

Junior running backs Marques Little and John Chamberlin combined for all six touchdowns. Chamberlin, a bruising fullback, ran 23 times for 142 yards and three scores. Little, a speedy and shifty halfback, ran 10 times for 120 yards and two scores, and also returned a punt 44 yards for another score.

If anything, Williamstown's defense was even better than its offense. The Braves forced the Renegades to go three-and-out on their first four possessions. Shawnee's initial first down came on a pass-interference penalty with a minute left in the half.

Williamstown has been rising in South Jersey prominence for the last few seasons. The Braves are 17-5 since the formation of the West Jersey Football League in 2010.

Playoff success remains the Final Frontier for the Braves. They still have just one postseason victory in their history.

A perfect game in the middle of September is something to see.

But if the Braves play like this in November and December, they will be truly special.

Shawnee   0 0 0 0 – 0

Williamstown   12 14 7 6 – 39

W: John Chamberlin 4 run (kick failed)

W: Marques Little 44 punt return (run failed)

W: Chamberlin 8 run (Matt Peacock kick)

W: Little 26 run (Peacock kick)

W: Chamberlin 10 run (Peacock kick)

W: Little 4 run (kick failed)

Contact Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, panastasia@phillynews.com, or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.

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