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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

High School Notebook

October 12, 2000|STEVE HENSON

A year ago Jerome Williams lost his job because his

toughness was questioned.

Now his determination and no-nonsense, north-south approach to running is a key to Kennedy High's 4-0-1 record.

Williams rushed for 185 yards in 27 carries in a victory over Granada Hills and had 100 yards a week earlier in a victory over Taft.

He gained most of them in the same fashion: straight up the middle. Williams keeps his feet moving, delivers the blow . . . then keeps his feet moving even longer.

"Jerome has made a huge improvement," Coach Bob Francola said. "He was always a good running back, but now he does everything well."

Williams (5-10, 175 pounds) has 653 yards and 10 touchdowns in 85 carries. And when he isn't carrying the ball, he's blocking.

Despite rushing for more than 400 yards, Williams was replaced last year at midseason by 230-pound Mark Miles, who was a better blocker and more rugged runner.

Rather than sulk, Williams went to work, gaining 15 pounds during the off-season and developing his blocking skills.

"I knew what I had to do and I told myself nobody would take my job this year," Williams said. "This year Kennedy is making itself known all over again. My line is incredible. If they can block that well, I can too."

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