The plan worked out well for St. Pauls on Friday night against upset-minded South Robeson.
St. Pauls’ senior running back broke open a tight game with two touchdowns in the third quarter as the Bulldogs bounced back from their first Three Rivers Conference loss with a 42-14 victory.
Williams’ 223-yard effort was more than the Mustangs’ total on offense and helped St. Pauls overcome a sluggish effort that included a season-high four turnovers and 12 penalties.
“I think any coach will tell you we don’t like homecoming games,” St. Pauls coach Trey Sasser said. “We wanted to go with what works for us in the second half and giving it to Shawn is usually a good idea.”
Williams carried the football 10 times for 88 yards on the first two possessions of the second half after St. Pauls forced a pair of three-and-outs. South Robeson managed only four first downs after intermission — three on the final drive — lost a fumble and tossed an interception.
Jeremy Couser’s 59-yard touchdown reception on a swing pass in the first quarter altered momentum and woke up the Bulldogs’ struggling defense.
“I think our guys are starting to look at defense as a challenge,” Sasser said. “They don’t like giving up points and that one bothered them a bit. We tackled and played a lot better in the second half.”
Missed opportunities damaged South Robeson’s shot at its first win in its last 14 conference games. A mistake on special teams with 9:22 left in the second quarter directly led to a 29-yard touchdown pass for St. Pauls on the ensuing play and miscommunication downfield in the passing game caused a bevy of third-and-longs.
Late in the second quarter, the Mustangs squandered a scoring opportunity after Anthony Galbreath rumbled 16 yards on 4th-and-15 at midfield. Galbreath elected to not to punt after a low snap, juked two defenders and crossed the 35 for a first down.
In four plays, however, South Robeson turned it over on downs. For the game, the Mustangs managed just 34 yards rushing and had one drive that lasted at least six snaps.
“We didn’t make plays, plain and simple,” South Robeson coach Stephen Roberson said. “We couldn’t get into rhythm on offense and a lot of passes were under thrown. We were in position all night to make something happen and didn’t.”