Caleb Williams ran for three touchdowns to lift Gonzaga College High School past American Heritage on Friday night.
Gonzaga is ranked No. 16 in the USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 rankings, and shook off the rust after a relatively slow start to earn a 33-14 season-opening win at home in Washington, D.C. American Heritage, a perennial power from Plantation, Florida, dropped to 1-1 on the season.
The Eagles (1-0) trailed 7-0 and 14-7 before wresting command and taking a 27-14 halftime lead. Gonzaga seized momentum thanks in large part to a pair of timely takeaways late in the second quarter. The Eagles then opened the second half with a touchdown drive but failed on the two-point conversion.
Gonzaga plays next Friday at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, New Jersey.
American Heritage will play another road game next Friday, albeit much closer to home, against Miramar (Florida).
Here are three things we learned from the game:
1) Caleb williams is legitimate
Williams, ranked as the top dual threat quarterback in the Class of 2021 by 247Sports, showed why Georgia, Oregon, Penn State and Stanford have interest in his services.
He improvised nicely on his first touchdown run by juking several defenders along the sideline with deft hesitation moves. Check out the video here:
He scored his second touchdown on a short sneak up the middle and his third on a draw play through the left side of the line with another nice hesitation move.
2) OPTIMISM FOR AMERICAN HERITAGE
American Heritage, coached by former NFL cornerback Patrick Surtain, played well early while taking a 14-7 lead. But eventually, Gonzaga wore down the Patriots and won going away. American Heritage hurt its chances with two crucial turnovers late in the first half. If the Patriots can avoid giveaways, they have plenty of reason to feel good about themselves moving forward this season. American Heritage, ranked No. 6 in the Sunshine State by FloridaHSFootball.com, was coming off a 49-10 season-opening home victory over Monsignor Pace of Miami.
Here’s senior running back Carlson Joseph breaking a tackle and showing some moves while scoring the Patriots’ second touchdown of the game:
3) gonzaga isn’t a one-man band
As good as Williams is, he isn’t the only player to watch for the Eagles. Aaron Turner, a junior running back, put Gonzaga in firm control with an 80-yard touchdown romp late in the first half. Turner’s score came on the first play after a Patriots turnover and stole the momentum away from American Heritage for good.