East Oktibbeha quarterback Justin Williams looks for running room against Ethel last Friday night. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Justin Williams found out during the summer that he was going to be the next starting quarterback of the East Oktibbeha Titans.
Since then he has worked on being the type of leader that East Oktibbeha coach Randy Brooks expects him to be.
Through the first four games for the Titans this season, Brooks likes what he sees from the junior signal caller.
Williams had a breakout game in a 33-24 victory over Ethel last Friday night with three rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown.
"That's a large contribution," Brooks said. "He leads by example by being a good citizen and by being a leader on and off the football field. I stress being a good citizen for football players all the time."
Williams went from playing on the offensive line to fullback and now to quarterback at East Oktibbeha.
Being a leader is something Williams takes seriously, especially now that he's a quarterback.
"Playing quarterback on a high school team for the first time, that's a very big step to take," Williams said. "It does put a lot of pressure on me because if we lose a game, everyone is going to be looking at me whether I messed up with this or that.
"It's starting to come along and everything is starting to fall my way."
The words "go hard or go home" ring in the ears of Williams. That's the message that Brooks sends to the team often and it has become the motto for East Oktibbeha.
Williams said that was a motivating factor in picking up a Class A, Region 3, District 4 victory against Ethel.
"Coach Brooks always pushes us and that's what he tells us before the game," Williams said. "What we did is play hard the first couple of quarters and we came out on top. We had a good running game with our running backs Destin Covington and Jermaine Gillespie and my passing touchdown went to Juwan Roberts. He ran about a 45-yard touchdown."
Brooks has stressed the importance to the Titans of winning the rest of the games this season to host a first-round playoff game.
After playing well against Ethel, Williams has confidence in what the Titans can achieve in the future.
"I believe we can win the rest of our games this year," Williams said. "Next year, we're going undefeated."
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