When Shoemaker’s Dwyane Williams’ 78-yard punt return for a touchdown was called back for an illegal block in the back, it would have been understandable if he dropped his head in disappointment.
Instead he just waited for his next chance.
This time, the defensive back returned an interception 60 yards for the Grey Wolves’ final score in Shoemaker’s 48-20 victory over the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon Tigres at Leo Buckley Stadium on Saturday night.
“I was pretty upset at first but you have to bounce back and do it again,” said Williams. “Really all that matters is that we got the W.”
After the Shoemaker (1-1) defense stopped the Tigres, Williams received the punt at his own 22-yard line, immediately broke two tackles, and zoomed down the left side before cutting across to mid-field before sprinting in for the 78-yard touchdown — except there was a flag back at the 22-yard line. An illegal block in the back negated the return and the Wolves went three-and-out on the subsequent drive.
“That took a lot of wind out of our sails,
but we did end up scoring a little in the first half,” Shoemaker head coach Channon Hall said. “We really expect Williams to make plays like that for us — we need him to.
“When he got the next chance we knew he would do something incredible.”
With 10 minutes left in the game, Williams intercepted a Fernando Gomez pass on left side of 40-yard line and made a cut back to the middle of the field and raced down the right sideline for the 60-yard touchdown — and vindication.
“I never put pressure on myself to make plays — I play relaxed,” he said. “So when I caught it I knew no (Tigres) were over there so I cut it back and ran.”
By then the game was over.
A sack on the first play of its second drive put the Wolves in a hole; facing second down and a long 20, Ziere Banner scrambled 26 yards for a first down. Two plays later, the Wolves faced third-and-12, but Banner came through, again as he scrambled for a 13-yard gain and another first down.
“I made the important completions but I missed way too many guys,” Banner said. “But what really matters is that we won the game. We have to get back to work. I’ve got lots of work to do.”
Later in the drive, the Wolves found themselves facing fourth-and-long and trailing by three points. Banner took the shotgun snap, avoided a sack and scrambled to his right when chased by three Tigres defenders. Banner pulled the trigger and fired a bullet into the strong wind and found Qwoy Blunt in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead score, 7-3, late in the first quarter.
Banner finished the day with 136 passing yards and two scores, while completely dominating on the ground with 194 yards on 23 carries. The senior quarterback completed just 11 of his 31 passes but he scrambled for big gains that extended drives.
Rayshun Spearman had a quiet 143 yards and two scores on just eight carries for the Wolves.
“Spearman is a beast. We see him being one of our go-to-guys,” Hall said. “We are a running team so we need games like that from him.”