There are plenty of ways to win a football game.
Having a quarterback return three punts for touchdowns is a rare but effective one.
Spring Mountain’s Meiyako Williams scored on punt returns of 36, 65 and 56 yards to lead the Eagles to a 62-0 rout of visiting Mineral County on Friday.
“He’s a special athlete,” Spring Mountain coach Aaron Masden said of Williams, who is also a standout defensive back. “For a guy who hasn’t played much, he really is picking up things. He’s a very coachable kid, and that’s why he’s so successful.”
Williams helped Spring Mountain (2-0) roll up a 36-0 lead with 4 minutes, 26 seconds left — in the first quarter.
The junior signal caller finished with eight carries for 73 yards, including touchdown runs of 33, 26 and 6 yards. He also completed 3 of 6 passes for 73 yards and a score, with all three of the incomplete passes dropped.
Williams hooked up with senior receiver Leroy Freeman on a 64-yard scoring strike to open the scoring, and the Eagles were in flight from there.
The Eagles shut out their second straight opponent to open the season, but their special teams might have been more impressive than their defense.
In addition to Williams’ three touchdowns on punt returns, Freeman scored on an 11-yard return of a blocked punt by Damion Johnwell.
“We feel special teams is just as big a part of the game as offense and defense,” Masden said. “We spend a lot of time working on special teams, and we feel like that’s an area that we can do some damage in.”
Mineral County (0-2) hurt itself with six fumbles, losing four of them. But the Eagles were sharp in pass defense, holding the Serpents to 4-for-21 passing as a team.
“We just came out, brought the intensity and the effort and took the lead,” Williams said. “We just need to make a couple adjustments, get some stops (next week) and we’ll be good.”
Junior running back Price Powell carried six times for 71 yards, including a 5-yard TD in the first quarter, when the Eagles found the end zone five times.
“We want to get to a fast start, get to people quickly and put pressure on them, on offense, defense and special teams,” Masden said. “We want to push tempo and get people out of their comfort zone.”
Williams also helped pile up the points by passing for three two-point conversions, including a pair to Jaytraveonte Davis.
Masden is pleased with two shutouts to open the season, but said the Eagles need to “dial up the effort” in practice to prepare for their Class 1A Southern League opener at Tonopah next week.
“Now we’re in conference play,” Masden said. “We’ve got to turn things up and get better.”