Shawn C. White Special to The Times
Published 1:10 AM EST Nov 10, 2018
The Haughton Buccaneers advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 57-36 shootout win over the Fontainebleau Bulldogs at Harold E. Harlon Stadium on Friday night.
CJ McWilliams literally blew the lights out on the first score by the Buccaneers as the home side lights went out as the referee raised his hands to signal the first of his four rushing touchdowns and three passing touchdowns for the night.
McWilliams compiled 389 yards of total offense as he ran for 179 yards and passed for 210. His main target for the night was Tristan Sweeney who caught for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
Haughton coach Jason Brotherton spoke glowingly of McWilliams.
“He’s a football player,” Brotherton said. “I’ve said all year that he’s the best player around me. No one really believes that. He can do everything. It’s all easy for him. He’s not really a quarterback but our kids believe in him and that’s why he’s back there. So we always feel good when it’s in his hands.”
The Buccaneers had to contain Fontainebleau sophomore superstar Iverson Celestine. Celestine has already received offers from Division I schools like Tulane, Utah, and Virginia. He showed his power and he piled on 181 rushing yards and scored a touchdown.
Fontainebleau’s Josh Bailey was also a threat to the Bucs as he passed for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Bailey also collected a rushing touchdown. Bailey’s main target for was Jacobly Kirby who caught 99 yards and two touchdowns. Jaden Davenport also caught a touchdown.
Here are three takeaways from Haughton playoff win.
McWilliams and Sweeney are a combination for success
If you watch a Haughton game, you might get caught up in a “Where’s McWilliams” game.
McWilliams is normally not the quarterback, but a wide receiver. He’s also the punter and plays defense (although he didn’t get to play defense tonight). He can do it all.
McWilliams had the advantage Friday of not only finding Sweeney for three touchdowns, but he also benefited from good field position on good returns from Sweeney.
Fontainebleau actually had more first downs than Haughton for the night and a big factor was the good field position they started.
With about 3 minutes remaining in the first half, Haughton looked to be able to put the game into cruise control as it took a 36-14 lead.
The Bulldogs ended the half with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Bailey to Davenport with 30 seconds remaining. Fontainebleau took a nine-play drive in the start of the second half and finish off with a Celestine touchdown to close within eight points.
Haughton’s first possession of the second half was a fumble which gave the Bulldogs the ball deep in their own territory. Bailey struck again to bring to a 36-36 tie.
“It was quick wasn’t it,” Brotherton said. “Our kids have responded all year when that’s happened.. We play in these kind of games all the time. Our district is tough and it prepares us for that. We just knew we had to settle back down and I think we responded and scored the very next drive.”
That’s precisely what they did. The Bucs kept their composure and never let up the remainder of the game. Although, they faced constantly bombardment from Celestine, they held strong.
The defense picked up three interceptions alone in the fourth quarter.
Third time a charm …..maybe
Haughton knew regardless that if it won it would travel for a second round game.
Looking at the bracket the Bucs saw a common foe which they have had to travel down to New Orleans to face — the John Ehert Patriots. The results have been two losses.
The question now comes is can the third time be a charm. The last two meetings were first-round affairs. Maybe the second round matchup will bring a different result.
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