Football: Falcons’ Williams out to prove his talents
08:51 AM CDT on Thursday, September 8, 2011
By Adam Boedeker / Staff Writer
CORINTH — Dalyn Williams has reasons to be bitter.
There are the persistent comparisons to former Lake Dallas quarterback and current Missouri starter James Franklin. He hasn’t drawn much interest from college programs.
DRC/David Minton Lake Dallas senior quarterback
Dalyn Williams is pictured Wednesday in Corinth.
And there’s the fact that the Falcons’ offense struggled last season to the point where Lake Dallas was eliminated 10-6 in a first-round playoff loss to Canyon Randall to finish its season with a 5-6 record.
“I have a lot of people to prove wrong,” the senior quarterback said. “I feel like the word isn’t out about me. People don’t know who I am. I feel like that’s ludicrous, honestly. I’m just going out there and showing people I can play. I’m coming. We’re coming. The Falcons are coming.”
Last season, after making the move from wide receiver to quarterback, Williams completed just 49 percent of his passes for 1,282 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 952 yards and nine more scores.
That was after his sophomore season, in which he was the second-leading receiver for the Falcons with Franklin at quarterback.
But as Red Oak found out Friday night, Williams is ready to prove he is a quarterback this season.
Through the first two games of the season, Williams has thrown for 562 yards and, more importantly, completed 63 percent of his passes. He’s also rushed for 175 yards and four touchdowns, including his 170-yard rushing performance with three touchdowns in Friday’s remarkable 50-42 comeback win over Red Oak.
In that game, things could not have started worse for Williams and his teammates.
Six minutes and 15 seconds into the game, Red Oak led 28-0, and Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young was close to calling a timeout, or maybe two, to stop the bleeding and try to rally his troops.
Instead, Williams did it for him.
“I thought I’d just see how that possession would go [after Lake Dallas went down 28-0] to see if they could take charge themselves,” Young said. “Right when I was thinking of doing that, I saw Dalyn get in the offensive huddle and get loud a little bit. I made the right choice of letting him do it.”
After a lost fumble and two interceptions early on that led to the quick 28 points, Williams and the Lake Dallas offense didn’t make many more mistakes.
In the next 16 minutes of game time, Williams led Lake Dallas on five scoring drives while the Falcons’ defense pitched a shutout to head into halftime with a 36-28 lead.
But the Falcons were confident they’d win the game long before that.
“Once we scored that first touchdown and it was pretty easy, I knew we were good,” Williams said. “Our tempo was amazing. It felt as if they gave us a touchdown because we were moving the ball so easy. After that, I knew they were rested and we scored that easy. I knew they were in trouble.”
Senior running back Dontonio Jordan, who has committed to Stanford after playing wide receiver last season, said Williams has always been a good passer but has improved this season through experience and because of the Falcons’ run to the 7-on-7 state tournament this summer.
“It’s mainly experience,” Jordan said of Williams’ improvement. “He has more time under his belt now. He’ll continue to get better over the season also. He has a really good arm. He can run, but we’re passing a lot more this year because everyone is experienced around him. We all know each other well and the chemistry is great.”
Williams said he doesn’t believe he’s improved at all as a quarterback this season.
He said his skill was there last season, but the team around him deserves the credit for the way the Falcons’ offense has rolled through the first two games, combining to score 82 points and go 1-1.
“It’s the pieces around me,” Williams said. “Everything around me is much better. Everyone knows what they’re doing. We’ve got a more mature O-line that does a better job of protection. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything different about me. I just have the chance to show my ability now. I’ve gotten faster and matured, but talent-wise nothing’s changed.”
As for the comparisons to Franklin, they’re hard to ignore.
Jordan said his quarterback does not like it when he’s compared to the signal caller who was under center when Jordan and Williams were sophomore receivers.
Young said their similarities are striking, despite the personality difference with Franklin being quiet and Williams more of a vocal leader.
For starters, Williams has packed on 15 pounds of muscle since baseball season ended and is up to 205 pounds on his 6-foot frame, bearing a closer resemblance to the 6-2, 220-pound Franklin.
“Watching the Red Oak game, I would look every once in a while and it looked like James out there running around and making plays,” Young said. “He’d do that every now and then just go make plays when we needed to win, and that’s what Dalyn did on Friday.”
They’re also similar in the fact that Franklin didn’t receive much college attention until Missouri came calling during his senior season.
Right now, Williams has offers from North Texas, Navy and Air Force.
Young said all of Williams’ reasons for being a little bitter are understandable, and it makes him a better quarterback.
“I think it definitely drives him,” Young said. “He wants to be his own quarterback like everybody does. He wants to set his own legacy. He wants to get some offers. He’s got Air Force, Navy and North Texas right now and I think, like I am, he’s a little disappointed more people haven’t gotten on him yet. Someone that’s as good a student as he is and a really good football player, it’s kind of crazy to have just three offers right now from those schools. I think that puts a little chip on his shoulder.”
Not to mention the way last season went, when Lake Dallas won one of its first six games and had the first-round playoff exit in disappointing fashion.
“Last year was awfully disappointing for all of us, and I know it was for him,” Young said. “He’s a competitor, and he doesn’t like to lose and doesn’t take it very well.”
As for Williams, he assessed what would make him a good college quarterback, and the points are hard to argue.
“‘What doesn’t he have?’ That’s what I’d hope someone would say,” Williams said. “I’m a hard worker. I’m a bit undersized, and I have a chip on my shoulder. I run hard. I can throw the football 68 yards. That’s a tribute to my arm strength and what I’m blessed with. I’m a leader. I’m smart, and I know the game in and out.
“I have schools just sitting there waiting to see what I’m going to do and trying to decide what they want me as.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is [email protected] .