Saraland’s Ryan Williams spends time at QB, scores 4 touchdowns in win over St. Paul’s
It was an unusual start but a predictable end for Saraland’s explosive offense Friday night at EE Delaney Field in Mobile.
The result was a convincing third consecutive win, 42-14 for No. 3-ranked Class 6A side Saraland (3-0 on aggregate, 2-0 in regional play).
Sophomore quarterback KJ Lacey, one of the state’s top quarterback prospects in the Class of 2025, ran onto the field for the first game. that his pants did not cover his knees. So, the official starting quarterback turned out to be Ryan Williams, another top rookie from the Class of 2025 who plays catcher.
Williams capitalized on that unexpected first opportunity, rushing for 71 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opener. He finished with four carries as a wild quarterback, rushing for 103 yards and three touchdowns and caught three passes for 29 yards and a fourth scoring.
“I’ve been a quarterback all my life. This is only my second year as a wide receiver,” Williams said. “When I play quarterback, I feel like the game is in my hands.”
As effective as he is in that position, Williams knows Lacey won’t give up the starting position. After correcting his equipment issues, Lacey completed 14 of 23 passes for 233 yards. He threw touchdown passes for 13 and 54 yards to Carson Gill in addition to 9 yards to Williams.
“Our offensive line did a great job and we managed to get balanced,” said Saraland coach Jeff Kelly, whose team rushed for 183 yards and passed for 235.
Saraland led 28-7 at halftime, then opened the third quarter with a Jamison Curtis interception that sent Williams 34 yards for a touchdown and a 35-7 lead.
St. Paul’s (1-2, 1-1) had just 88 rushing yards and 77 passing yards. The Saints got a 3-yard touchdown by Christopher Bracy in the first half and an 8-yard tally by quarterback Tate Johnston with 1:57 left.
They said it: “The key was getting that stoppage to start the third quarter. Then Ryan did his thing and got us rolling from there. –Kelly
“We were dominated. We had chances in the first quarter when they put the ball on the ground, but we couldn’t take advantage of them. We made a lot of mental mistakes. – St. Paul coach Ham Barnett
Did you know?: Saraland has scored at least 42 points in all three games this season. The Spartans scored 43 against Daphne, 49 against Murphy and then 42 against St. Paul’s.
Game statistics: Saraland had three 20-plus-yard carries and three 20-plus-yard passes.
By the numbers: Saraland was penalized eight times for 90 yards. Johnston was the leading rusher for St. Paul’s with 37 yards on four carries, despite only playing in the fourth quarter.
And after?: Saraland returns home to renew its rivalry with Spanish Fort. While Saraland is ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 6A, Spanish Fort could enter the rankings after an impressive win over Baldwin County. St. Paul’s is on the road against Murphy.