"We knew we had to grind it out," said Little, a junior running back and defensive back. "We knew AC was a good team."
Williamstown (11-0), the No. 1 team in The Inquirer's Top 10, advanced to the first sectional title game in the history of the program. The Braves will face Southern, which beat Eastern, 30-27, in the South Jersey Group 5 final on Friday night at Rowan University.
This was a fierce, physical game before a huge crowd. And the outcome was in doubt until Little made an interception to end Atlantic City's last drive with 1 minute, 39 seconds on the clock.
"One more," Williamstown coach Frank Fucetola told his players after the game. "You haven't won anything yet."
Little is a lightning-quick back known for his explosiveness. He turns the corner as well as any player in South Jersey.
And Little showed his big-play ability on a 68-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and a 20-yard scoring burst around left end in the second quarter.
But the key to this victory for the Braves was all those plays in between: the tough carries by Little and John Chamberlin and Kali Boyce that produced first downs, sustained drives, and kept Atlantic City's offense off the field.
"That was the key," Little said. "We knew they were explosive. We had to run the ball."
In a twist, the Braves threw the football in the first quarter, getting that touchdown pass but also turning it over with two interceptions.
The rest of the game was pure Williamstown: Long, clock-chewing drives behind a sturdy offensive line, with some hard carries by the backs.
Chamberlin (87 yards, 24 carries) and Boyce (63 yards, 11 carries) did much of the dirty work. But so did Little (74 yards, 19 carries), who lowered his shoulder again and again.
"They beat me up pretty good," Little said of the Atlantic City defense. "They were bringing it on defense. But this was the semis. I knew I had to raise my game. Big-time players step up in big-time games."
Little had plenty of help from his friends. End Julian Taylor sparked the Williamstown defense with two sacks as the Braves battled to contain Atlantic City quarterback Jarren McBryde (9 for 20, 127 yards) and wide receivers Dayshawn Reynolds (four catches, 34 yards) and Demond Cottman (five catches, 101 yards).
Little's 13-yard run capped a 90-yard drive that took 18 plays. But Atlantic City (8-3) blocked the extra point to stay within one score midway in the fourth.
Little ended the Vikings' hopes with an interception.
"I knew I had to go get it," Little said of the football.
He could have been talking about the trip to the title game as well.
Atlantic City 6 6 00 - 12
Williamstown 7 7 0 6 - 20
W: Marques Little 68 pass from Doug Banks (Matt Peacock kick)
AC: Dom Brown-Hurd 4 run (kick fail)
W: Little 20 run (Peacock kick)
AC: Dayshawn Reynolds 7 pass from Jarren McBryde (pass fail)
W: Little 13 run (kick blocked)
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports