Originally created 12/16/00

Commerce takes Class A title

Monte Williams wrote the final chapter in a storybook career as the little Commerce star rushed for 286 yards and scored all four touchdowns to lead Tigers to the Georgia Class A title.

Williams, who became the state's all-time leading rusher in a win over Jefferson on Nov. 3, ended the scoring with 3:55 left in the third quarter. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound senior running back broke nine tackles to finish with a 56-yard run.

"It feels good," said Williams, who closed his career with 8,846 yards rushing. "This is what we worked for all year. Coach (Steve Savage) came to me before the game and told me, `Monte, you do whatever it takes.' That's what we all did."

The No. 2 Tigers (13-2) began the season ranked No. 1, but have not been in the top spot since losing to Franklin County on Sept. 9. Commerce won its fifth straight game over Buford, its Region 8-A rival.

Last year's Associated Press All-Classification Player of the Year, Williams made it 7-0 after catching a 41-yard pass from Michael Collins on Commerce's first series.

He finished the half with 217 yards rushing on 20 carries. Williams had touchdown runs of 88 and 33 yards as the Tigers went up 21-0 in the second quarter.

"When you got a player like that, you better get it to him somehow," Savage said. "If you've been around here four years, you've seen him do a lot of things."

Buford (13-2) made a game of it after P.K. Sam caught a 53-yard scoring pass from Travis Payne and Isaac Brown returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown.

After Brown picked up the loose ball that resulted from Collins' bad pitch to Williams to make it 21-12 at the half, Webb Aiken scored on a 4-yard run to make it 21-19 with 6:46 left in the third quarter.

Last month, Williams broke the career mark of 7,868 yards set by Worth County's Robert Toomer in 1991.

Herschel Walker established a state record in 1979 when he finished his last game at Johnson County with 6,137 career yards. Four years later, Metter's Greg Williams closed his prep career with 6,190 yards, only to be topped by Emanuel County Institute's Eddie Dixon, who had 7,342 that same season.

Toomer was the next player to break the mark.


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