BLACKSVILLE — As Clay-Battelle junior Sean Hays was brought down in the third quarter of Friday night’s 61-0 win against Hundred, he was within a yard of a Cee-Bees touchdown. That’s when coach Ryan Wilson called upon senior Noah Watson. It was time.
As Watson took the field, the Hundred defenders may have noticed something different about where Watson — a 6-foot-1, 255-pound lineman — was lined up. He was in the backfield, at fullback.
“We set it up with the jumbo front, and we had Sean Hays behind me at halfback. It was designed as either an option or a run up the gut,” he recalled.
As the ball was snapped, Watson rumbled up the middle, taking the ball into his hands. He plowed through the Hundred front seven, behind his blockers, and marched into the end zone to tack six points on the board for C-B.
“They gave the ball to me. They blocked down towards the hole — the line did a great job blocking for me — and I got right in there,” he said
It was Watson’s first career touchdown.
“It was pretty fun. We just hit it hard — coach had been talking to me about it, and he finally let me get the opportunity to run it in there,” he said.
According to Watson, the jumbo set that earned him the score has been in place for just a couple weeks. It’s worked on occasionally at practice, but is far from a focal point in the offense.
“That is part of our package — we didn’t just throw that in there, we have a package with that. We just try to go a little bigger,” Wilson said. “It’s an opportunity for him to carry the ball in a ball game and get hit a little bit just to see what it feels like. Down the road you never know when that’s going to show its face again.”
When the chance appeared, Wilson wanted Watson to get the opportunity to run the package on game day. Luckily for both, opportunity came knocking last Friday.
“Noah is a senior lineman, and it’s always great with seniors to see if we can give them something special. These are their special memories, and the opportunity arose,” he said. “Sean Hays made a heck of a run leading up to it. It would have been easy just giving him the ball and letting him score, since he set it up. But we had the opportunity to use that package and get Noah the touchdown.”
Watson said the package draws a big reaction from the team, who like seeing lineman like Watson get a chance to demonstrate their skills in the backfield.
“It gets everybody pumped when a big man like me gets to run the ball on the team,” he said.
Wilson enjoys the aspect the package adds to the game plan for the Cee-Bees — he sees it as another curveball he can toss at opposing defenses. Just something else they have to figure out about C-B.
“Whenever a team is scouting us, they see a big kid coming into the backfield. Is he a lead blocker, is he going to carry the ball, whatever it is, you can see he’s a big kid, and we just put another big one down there on the line,” Wilson said. “We’re not going to live and die with it, but it’s out there for us.”