There have been lots of contributors to Sylmar's successful journey reaching Saturday's 3 p.m. City Section Division II championship game against Hamilton at the Coliseum.
Running backs Marcus Gandy and Shonee Smith have been picking up yards. Receivers Danny Mendoza and Anthony Muse have been catching passes. The offensive line is blocking well. The defense has started to stop teams.
But the player who makes everything happen is junior quarterback Clarence Williams, Sylmar's starter since his freshman season. He has 99 career touchdown passes, including 39 this season. He's a leader and a competitor. Coach John Brazil raves around Williams' ability to improvise and limit mistakes. And Williams is humble, too.
"The defense has been giving us the ball back a lot," he said in trying to explain how Sylmar has been able to score 70 and 68 points in its last two playoff victories. "The offense has been capitalizing off the turnovers."
Saturday's game will be Sylmar's severest test since opening the season against Crespi. Hamilton's defense has been outstanding, and the Yankees have their own standout at quarterback in 6-foot-6 junior Armani Rogers.
For Williams, playing at the Coliseum is a big deal.
"I've played in many championship games before, but this is by far the biggest stage," he said.
The game will be televised live by Time Warner Cable.