Before entering McLane High Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 25, with bitter rival Clovis West on the other sideline, Charles Williams said he was only looking to "fill the void" at running back with teammate and starter Tanner Van Es sitting out.
Williams ended up gashing the Golden Eagles and emerged as a back to watch in the Class of 2016.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior finished with 277 rushing yards on 36 carries and four touchdowns, including a 65-yarder in the third quarter that helped solidify the Knights' 28-25 victory.
"I just was hungry to beat Clovis West for head coach Don Arax and I tried to make my boy Tanner happy," Williams said.
The Knights (3-2) lined up in a lot of power and double tight end formations. The Bullard trench men created outside running lanes for Williams while going against an exotic Clovis West defense.
"It was a 4-4 (four linemen, four linebackers) with some odd and even fronts. They came at me with a few blitzes but we got what we needed," Williams said.
Williams also broke his long runs against two highly-touted national recruits on the Golden Eagles: wide receiver/cornerback Darian Owens (five scholarship offers) and outside linebacker/tight end Caleb Kelly (15 offers).
Williams said he crossed paths with Kelly on several occasions.
"It felt good," Williams said when going against Kelly. "He had a few good hits on me. Much respect to him. He
plays snap to whistle and I like his energy."
Through five games, Williams has 604 yards on 87 carries and nine touchdowns. He's averaging 6.9 yards per carry.
He's following the footsteps of past running back greats at BHS: Corey Jackson, Travon Jones, Demetrius Warren and Dejonte O'Neal.
"They're trying to show me stuff I've never seen before," Williams said. "My footwork got better from those guys. They advise me to just focus on me, but also keep moving the rock north and south."
The Knights and Williams are now preparing for the rigorous County Metro Athletic Conference season. Edison, San Joaquin Memorial and Madera were a combined 11-0 before their games on Friday, Sept. 26. The Tigers had a bye this week, while the Panthers and Coyotes had non-league games.
At 3-2, are opponents in the CMAC looking past Williams and the Knights?
"Sometimes they sleep on us, but these other teams are just as good as us and this year it is wide open for anyone," Williams said.