If there were any questions regarding how first-year Bishop McNamara football coach Keith Goganious would run his offense, they were answered 90 seconds into his team's opening game of the season.
Seven plays, 63 yards, a no-huddle offense run at a brisk pace — even by no-huddle offense standards — and a rushing touchdown from sophomore quarterback Ramar Williams told the story on Saturday.
Little did anyone know at the time that the rest of the game would continue at an equally-breakneck pace.
And when Goganious' team sprinted off the field and into the locker room, past a congregated mass of cheerleaders and fans, they did so as winners of a wild 51-42 contest against visiting Mount St. Joseph.
The stats — for fans of offense — were mesmerizing. Williams, the younger brother of former DeMatha Catholic/Charles H. Flowers quarterback Roman Williams, finished his afternoon at Tyoka Jackson Field with 390 all-purpose yards (141 rushing and 249 passing) and six touchdowns (three rushing, three passing). Williams appeared composed, calm and confident all afternoon running the read-option offense and accounted for roughly 72 percent of the team's total yards from scrimmage.
“The kid played a great game today,” Goganious said of Williams. “That's the reason he's our quarterback. He plays much older than he is and his demeanor is very calm for a guy his age.
“He's just a great player that's going to get better. This offense we have is made for him, we've just got to make sure he keeps getting better, bigger and stronger and learns the game mentally.”
The 6-foot-2 Williams' favorite target on the day was senior receiver Jordan Crockett, who caught eight passes for 148 yards and scored three touchdowns (two from Williams and the other on a 60-yard punt return). Sophomore Camari Murray also caught eight passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.
The back-and-forth nature of the game was established 15 seconds after Williams scored the opening touchdown as Gaels playmaker Brandon Batts (3 TDs) returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
“This is one of the best coaching staffs I've been with,” Williams said. “They have set a goal to come out and start strong. It's a new legacy with this team and every week they stress finish. They say finish, finish, finish, and that's what we did out here today.”
After trailing by 11 points late in the third quarter, the Mustangs scored three consecutive touchdowns (two by Crockett) and received a timely interception from Williams — one of the few standout defensive plays of the game — to secure the victory.
“This new offense is based on scoring points,” Crockett said. “Getting quickly up and down the field, making sure the defense doesn't have time to set up. This offense is perfect for us with the kind of personnel that we have.”
As if Crockett's punt return wasn't electrifying enough, he flashed more brilliance in the fourth quarter. The speedy wideout ran a slant across the middle on a third-and-11 play from McNamara's own 18-yard line, caught the pass from Williams and didn't stop. Eighty-two yards later he trotted into the end zone for the game's winning score.
“Especially since we had people leave [via transfer], people are expecting us just to flop,” Crockett said. “That's when we decided that we have to pick up the pieces we lost. We have to step in and do what we have to do to get wins.”
Bishop McNamara 51, Mount St. Joseph 42
Mount St. Joseph (0-1) 14 14 14 0 — 42
Bishop McNamara (1-0) 10 14 14 13 — 51
BM — Ramar Williams 3 run (Travis Arnold kick), 10:30
MSJ — Brandon Batts 94 kickoff return (James Nelson kick), 10:15
BM — Travis Arnold 26 field goal, 7:36
MSJ — Brandon Batts 11 run (James Nelson kick), 5:36
BM — Camari Murray 30 pass from Ramar Williams (Travis Arnold kick), 9:23
BM — Ramar Williams 17 run (Travis Arnold kick), 8:04
MSJ — Jeremiah McCullough 20 pass from Bryan Jangro (James Nelson kick), 7:04
MSJ — Nevone McCrimmon 9 run (James Nelson kick), 5:12
BM — Jordan Crockett 60 punt return (Travis Arnold kick), 9:39
MSJ — Nevone McCrimmon 31 run (James Nelson kick), 9:13
MSJ — Brandon Batts 44 pass from Bryan Jangro (James Nelson kick), 1:48
BM — Ramar Williams 5 run (Travis Arnold kick), 0:07
BM — Jordan Crockett 82 pass from Ramar Williams (Travis Arnold kick), 9:25
BM — Jordan Crockett 4 pass from Ramar Williams (Travis Arnold kick failed), 7:00
Mount St. Joseph — Nevone McCrimmon 21-150, Brandon Batts 3-58, Murphy Paschall 1-10, Bryan Jangro 6-6, Jadan Blue 1-1
Bishop McNamara — Ramar Williams 25-141, Camari Murray 3-71, Marquis Barnes 5-41, Alfred Bannister 11-19, Malik Seif 1-12, Charles Kelly 1-6
Mount St. Joseph — Bryan Jangro 18-33-233-1
Bishop McNamara — Ramar Williams 18-26-249-0, Charles Kelly 2-2-5-0
Mount St. Joseph — Brandon Batts 6-91, Jeremiah McCullough 5-72, Christian Heyward 4-69, Nevone McCrimmon 2-15, Maureese Jones 1-0
Bishop McNamara — Jordan Crockett 8-148, Camari Murray 8-79, Malik Seif 2-15, Brian Thompson 1-10, Marquis Barnes 1-2