Recovering fumbles and scoring defensive touchdowns are common occurances for Ursuline’s Sha’Haun Williams.
The defensive lineman finally got his chance to pull off a scoop-and-score on a Friday night in the Irish’s 47-21 beat down of Erie Strong Vincent.
Midway through the third quarter, a strong Ursuline blitz forced Strong Vincent quarterback Chris Stirocky to caugh up the ball which Williams, all 235 pounds of him, picked up and ran 45 yards for the TD.
“I saw the ball on the ground and I knew I couldn’t waste the opportunity,” he said. “I scooped it up and ran as fast as I could.
“I couldn’t believe it. On the sidelines I finally realized it and it was awesome.”
Ursuline (5-3) recovered another fumble earlier in the second quarter off a muffed punt. Tannor Berry laid the initial hit on the Strong Vincent return man and George Baal recovered on the Irish 29 yard line. It set up a Jermaine Williams 24-yard touchdown run to put Ursuline up 27-13.
“That was great hustle and the real turning point,” Irish coach Larry Kempe said. “We’re making strides on all three sides of the ball and special teams came up big.”
The defense held the Colonels to just 52 yards in the second half. Williams and Khallid Pearce each had two sacks and Tyler Leonard added another.
“The D-Line has played well all season,” Kempe said.
Williams, a junior, saw full varsity action in 2011 and the experience has taken off this season.
“It started from last year,” he said. “Khallid was a great role model. I’ve had great experience since then and a lot of it is thanks to him for taking me under his wing.”
After sitting out last week’s win over Steubenville, senior Tremain Thigpen had two scores and 68 rushing yards.
“I had to come back strong and show my team that I’m still there for them,” Thigpen said. “I’m proud of the way we played. We’re showing heart and effort.”
Chris Durkin rushed for 37 yards on seven carries and threw for 128 yards, completing 7 of 8 passes. He had touchdown tosses of 51 and 59 yards to Shawn Cole and Shannon Hightower, respectively.
“His consistency and decision making are really coming along,” Kempe said. “When that happens, we have a great shot.”
The score was 14-7 after the first quarter, Strong Vincent (3-4) scored on its second possession completing two fourth down conversions. Ursuline then held the Colonels scoreless until the final minute.
“We’re playing more confident after two-straight wins,” Williams said. “You can see it on the field and it shows on the scoreboard.”