Heading into last week’s showdown with Mallard Creek, Scotland County coach Richard Bailey felt he had everything accounted for, from a coaching standpoint. He knew Mallard Creek had a first-year quarterback, Jadyn Washington, and he knew Mallard Creek was only returning five starters.
And Bailey said he knew Mallard Creek would still be tough.
But he didn’t know about Lovelle Williams Jr., and Lovelle Williams Jr. burned the Fightin’ Scots pretty badly in Mallard Creek’s 28-21 win last week in Laurinburg.
Williams caught a 37-yard scoring pass from Washington on Mallard Creek’s first play from scrimmage. And he finished with five catches for 144 yards and two scores.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“That wide receiver,” Bailey said, “he’s legit, and we had not seen film on him. He surprised us and we had all their scrimmage tapes.”
Williams, 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, played at Mandeville High School in Mandeville, LA, last season. He caught 48 passes for 611 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games. Mandeville -- in a town of 12,000 just across a lake from New Orleans -- finished 7-5 last season. In highlight packages, you can see the type of quick cuts and deft footwork that Williams possesses.
What Williams also has, Mallard Creek coach Mike Palmieri said, is the ability to raise his game in big moments.
“He came in last spring,” Palmieri said, “and you could pretty much tell from Day 1 of summer practices that he was a pretty good football player. He can get open. He has great speed. He has great hands. He’s tough.”