Williams’ return ignites Red Raiders in shutout
TREDYFFRIN >> Radnor senior Naair Williams waited a long time for Friday night, having not played since the season opener due to a knee injury.
The rest of the Red Raiders waited even longer, having not beaten Conestoga since 2002.
On Friday night, Williams was the workhorse and the Radnor defense stood tall as the Red Raiders got over that hump with a big 10-0 Central League win over Conestoga at Teamer Field.
“I’ve been here 10 years and this is my first time beating them,” said Radnor head coach Tom Ryan. “I’m really proud of the way we played in all three phases.”
The biggest injury returnee was Williams, whose 55 yards on 16 carries won’t exactly jump off the page for anyone who didn’t see the game. But the pounding the 5-11, 210-pound Williams put on the Conestoga defensive line with each and every carry made a big difference, and loosened things up for other Radnor backs like Isaiah Coates (32 yards) and Zach Wade (35 yards), who had the game’s only touchdown.
“I was fired up to get out there,” Williams said. “In the first quarter I was feeling pretty good, and the knee feels fine. Pounding up front was part of the gameplan, and then we were able to switch it up at halftime a bit.”
Radnor jumped out to a 7-0 on the first drive of the game, marching down the field on a six-play, 66yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run from Wade.
The Red Raiders (2-4, 3-5) got some help from Conestoga (2-5, 2-6), thanks to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for some postplay pushing and shoving that set up 1st and goal prior to the touchdown run.
After that, Conestoga actually moved the ball on more than a few drives, but was never able to finish things off when it mattered.
That had a lot to do with the Radnor defense, which pestered quarterback Nick Braendel all night, flushing him out of the pocket and blanketing his receiving options.
“They were putting a lot of pressure on early and trying to get me to throw fast and not make good passes,” said Braendel, who finished 8-for-13 for 61 yards, and