Wilson’s bleachers were filled Saturday afternoon as the football team took on the Eastern Ramblers in the annual homecoming game. Students and teachers came back to Wilson in the midst of a three-day weekend, while alumni came from near and far to cheer on the Tigers. Not only was this day special because of planned and impromptu reunions, but the fans were also treated to a decisive 50-0 victory in favor of Wilson.
Following Spirit Week, which included a school-wide pep rally on Thursday, the Tigers had no problem getting hyped up for the game. And with an extra day to prepare and review the game plan (Wilson’s games are usually played on Thursdays or Fridays), the Tigers were especially excited to get on the field Saturday afternoon.
Their energy and preparation showed as the Tigers scored on their first two possessions to jump out to an early 12-0 lead. The Tigers’ first score came on an impressive 65-yard run by senior quarterback Steven Williams Jr. On the next drive, Williams targeted fellow senior, Sean Savoy, who out-hustled Eastern defenders for a 75-yard touchdown. Williams was not to be outdone in his final homecoming game at Wilson, throwing for 168 yards and four touchdowns, while adding another 91 yards on the ground.
Wilson wrapped up the first quarter with a comfortable 28-0 lead that Eastern would fail to overcome. Junior Emon Fleming caught his first of two touchdown passes in the game, and sophomore running back Amir Gerald ran 15 yards for a score that put the Tigers up by 27. Gerald finished with 59 yards on eight carries. On both touchdowns, the Tigers’ two-point conversion attempts were successful.
The Tigers put the game away in the second quarter with two more touchdowns. Senior Khaleb Coleman hauled down a 21-yard touchdown pass from a rolling Williams. Coleman, who committed last week to play at Liberty University, had another great endzone reception, but the catch was called off by the officials. Later in the quarter, Williams took advantage of Eastern’s no-safety set with a 30-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Fleming. Soon after, the defense forced a safety to put the Tigers up 44-0.
Wilson’s defense came up huge in the win to preserve the shutout and, like the offense, deserves much credit. In addition to forcing the safety, the Tigers blanked Eastern’s offensive attack, which had averaged nearly 40 points per game in their previous DCIAA matchups. On Saturday, Wilson’s staunch defense allowed Eastern only 55 total yards, including a miniscule eight rushing yards. Sophomore linebacker Sevin Beasley led the defensive unit with eight total tackles and an interception. Fellow linebacker, senior Markell Morris pulled in Wilson’s other interception, in addition to totaling three tackles, one of which was for a loss.
Next week, the Tigers host Ballou in their final regular season game before the playoffs commence. If Wilson can keep up the level of play that they displayed in Saturday’s game, another Turkey Bowl may be on the horizon for the Tigers.
PHOTO BY ISAAC FRUMKIN