One week after Williamston’s defense surrendered 14 fourth-quarter points to Lansing Catholic to lose by just a point, the Hornets stood tall in a must-win against Haslett on Friday.
Williamston shut out the Vikings in the second half and ran out the last six minutes after a final stop to win 15-7 in a non-league game.
Both teams are 5-3 overall. Williamston only plays eight games and is automatically qualified for the playoffs. Haslett will take on Chelsea next week to try and get a pivotal sixth win.
“We thought beating LCC last week would be the game to get us in and then our backs were against the wall,” Williamston coach Steve Kersten said. “That was a tough loss last week and so our kids were very resilient. It took a little time, but our kids had a great week of practice and I think we battled well.”
It was a game that was a slugfest on the ground and Williamston churned out 172 yards on 45 carries as a team while holding Haslett to just 90 yards rushing.
The Hornets scored first on a 2-yard run by senior quarterback Ryan Watters in the first quarter. Watters had 22 carries for 92 yards in the game.
Haslett answered with a short touchdown run in the second quarter, but Chaz Moore scored the eventual game-winning touchdown in the third quarter on a 6-yard run. Watters converted the two-point try with a run.
Moore had an interception on Haslett’s drive following the third quarter touchdown, stopping a Viking drive that had reached Hornet territory.
With six minutes remaining in the game, Haslett elected to punt just inside Williamston territory instead of going for a fourth down.
The Hornets never let the Vikings get it back, moving the chains and turning the clock until there was no time left.
“Our offensive line has done a great job all year. We ran the ball successfully and Ryan Watters was a big part of that and Chaz Moore, but the offensive line has been a big part of making the holes and grinding it out,” Kersten said.
“I give Watters a lot of credit and their offense,” Haslett coach Charlie Otlewski said. “They got the first downs when they needed to.”