Two things sure to fire up a football team as the third quarter starts are a good locker room speech and an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
In Canyon High’s 28-20 nonleague victory against Crespi on Friday at Pierce College, Cowboy Coach Harry Welch provided the former and Ed Williams was responsible for the latter.
Williams’ return, one of four touchdowns he scored, helped the Cowboys climb out of a first-half hole.
Largely because of three first-half turnovers, Canyon trailed, 14-7, at halftime.
"(Welch) said to just step up to the challenge,” Williams said, “and if we don’t we are a bunch of cowards.”
Williams, who gained 96 yards in 20 carries, broke several tackles and raced down the right side of the field with the touchdown that tied the score.
“The guys did a great job blocking,” Williams said. “The opening was there. All I had to do was run.”
Williams later scored on runs of one and nine yards, giving Canyon a 28-14 lead with 4 minutes 42 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
“A return like that really takes the wind out of your sails,” Crespi Coach Tim Lins said. “That was a big play.”
Crespi (0-2) pulled to within 28-20 when Shaun Williams scored from 15 yards with 3:54 remaining. Deron McElroy then missed his second extra-point attempt of the game.
Canyon (2-0) put the game away by running out the clock on its next possession. Williams had a key nine-yard run on third and nine with 2:53 to play.
Thousand Oaks transfer Fred Polito led Canyon with 101 yards in 15 carries. Quarterback Sean Connelly completed six of 12 passes for 60 yards.
The loss overshadowed an excellent performance by Crespi’s Shaun Williams, who gained 138 yards in 26 carries and scored three touchdowns.
As the season began, Williams and McElroy were supposed to split the carries, but Lins moved McElroy to tight end this week. He caught three passes for 44 yards.
Crespi quarterback Dave Lins completed eight of 17 passes for 97 yards.
The Celts were penalized 13 times for 100 yards. In last week’s 3-0 loss to Taft, Crespi was flagged eight times.
After Crespi began the game with an ugly possession in which the Celts were called for three penalties on seven snaps, Canyon drove the ball 65 yards for the game’s opening score.
Ed Williams carried the ball five times on the drive and scored on an 11-yard run with 5:02 to play in the first quarter.
The Celts answered back four plays later, when Shaun Williams darted to the right and scored on a 45-yard sweep. McElroy’s kick sailed wide, and Canyon held a 7-6 lead.
The Celts finally took the lead midway through the second quarter on a two-yard run by Shaun Williams and a two-point conversion by Mike Glendenning.
The score was set up when Canyon’s Jared McKeon fumbled a Crespi punt and Patrick Jeffires recovered at the Cowboy 6.