T.L. Sennett
ASU Student Journalist

Williams Field takes down Desert Ridge in monumental 'Homecoming' win

September 15, 2023 by T.L. Sennett, Arizona State University

Williams Field celebrated coach Steve Campbell's 150th win as head coach of the program following the 35-12 victory over Desert Ridge on Friday, September 15. (Tucker Sennett / AZPreps365)

Tucker Sennett is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism assigned to cover Williams Field High School for AZPreps356.com

The Williams Field offense came into Friday night’s game against Desert Ridge flying high. The Black Hawks continued to soar in their 35-12 win over the Jaguars in 6A non-region action.

On Homecoming night, Williams Field (4-0) took care of business in front of a raucous crowd of students and fans alike, pounding now-reeling Desert Ridge (1-3) with a dynamic offensive attack.

The win also was incredibly meaningful for Williams Field because it marked head coach Steve Campbell's 150th win with the team. 

"For the football program to get the 150th win is a great night," he said. "It was Homecoming so we had some of the alumni here. Hopefully, they understand how much I appreciate them." 

After stopping the Jaguars on fourth down in their first drive, Williams Field marched down the field with ease. Senior tailback Dylan Lee capped off the impressive drive with a nearly 25-yard touchdown scamper to take a 7-0 lead.

Penalties piled up on Williams Field throughout the game, especially in the scoreless third quarter. Early on, a pair of offsides calls on the Black Hawk defense allowed Desert Ridge to extend its drives and eventually score.

The major turning point came after Williams Field took a 21-12 lead with just under seven minutes left in the first half.

Desert Ridge looked like its ball control offense and slow pace could keep it in the game, but the Jaguars coughed the ball up attempting to convert on fourth down deep in its own territory.

Junior quarterback Kody Guy wasted no time after the turnover, firing a beautiful pass over the middle right into the hands of sophomore wide receiver Sean Boyd Jr. The 28-12 lead was back-breaking for a struggling Desert Ridge squad.

"We knew we had better matchups," Guy said. "We have some of the best athletes in the state and we feel like we can match up with any other team." 

Guy, like his coach, attested to the physicality and experience of Desert Ridge. 

"They played together their whole lives, we knew they were going to be a tough time," he said. 

The second half was slower, but Williams Field still controlled the game flow with stout defense and slower-paced offense. 

Earlier in the week, Campbell spoke about the growth of senior wide receiver Josh Sandru. The receiver made a tremendous one-handed catch in the corner of the end-zone to go up 35-12 in the fourth quarter on a ball from Guy. 

"That play right there, we tell him to play 6-foot-5... every week it just gets more impressive," the coach said. 

On the defensive side of the ball, senior defensive end Javon Maxey wreaked havoc on the Jaguars offense for Williams Field. 

The senior had two sacks on Jaguars quarterback Major Wootan and said he was thrilled to get his coach the win. 

"[Desert Ridge] beat us last year 34-33, so this was personal," he said. 

Maxey said he believes he and the defense have shown tremendous growth so far. 

"I'm becoming the player I know I can be," he said. 

The victory moved Williams Field to 4-0 for the first time since the program's perfect season in 2016, and already matched last year's win total. 

Next week, the Black Hawks will go on the road to face Red Mountain in Mesa on Friday night to open up East Valley Region play. 

Until then, Campbell will continue to preach to his team that the start doesn't mean everything. 

"It's always going to be how you finish," he said.