Safety New Zealand Williams anchors JSerra’s defense

Junior safety New Zealand Williams of JSerra has 17 individual tackles in three games.
Junior safety New Zealand Williams of JSerra has 17 tackles in three games.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

When it comes to making an impact on defense, safety New Zealand Williams of San Juan Capistrano JSerra has been one of the best in Southern California after three games.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior, who has 17 tackles and one interception, is fearless.

“I like coming up and making the hit,” Williams said.

His first name comes from his grandfather, though he has never been to New Zealand. Also on JSerra is quarterback General Booty, giving the Lions two players on the all-name team.

“He’s just a long, super fluid kid who can cover a lot of ground and loves to fill on the run,” coach Pat Harlow said of Williams. “He’s a really good football player who’s really raw.”


JSerra is 2-1 after a 38-14 win over La Puente Bishop Amat. Williams caught a 31-yard touchdown pass and had three pass deflections.

A new running back: Norco lost standout running back Jaydn Ott to Las Vegas Bishop Gorman before the season, but the Cougars used the next-man-up mentality. Fernando Chairez, a converted linebacker, ran for five touchdowns and caught a pass for anotherin a 59-46 win over Rancho Cucamonga. Norco is 2-0 and plays host to Vista Murrieta (2-0) on Friday in a showdown game between top 25 teams.

Impressive first start: With starting quarterback Cooper Meek injured, sophomore Zachary Siskowic of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame made an impressive first varsity start. He completed 10 of 12 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-0 win over Moorpark. Sean Guyton caught four passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

Best running team: Simi Valley Grace Brethren (3-0) might be unique in being the best running team around. Julien Stokes rushed for 248 yards in a 38-18 win over Pasadena Muir.

Scary moment: Standout running back/linebacker Mister Williams of Westlake Village Oaks Christian suffered a neck injury against Chatsworth Sierra Canyon. He was transported by helicopter to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Coach Charlie Collins said Williams was expected to be released Saturday after undergoing tests. He will be reevaluated next week.

Passing machine: Culver City quarterback Zevi Eckhaus completed 22 of 26 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns in a 60-21 win over Palos Verdes Peninsula. He has nine TD passes this season.

Record maker: Quarterback Bryce Young of Santa Ana Mater Dei set a school record with 528 yards passing and tied the school record with seven touchdown passes in a 71-21 win over Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial.