Lane pays tribute to Drew Williams with commanding win

SHARE Lane pays tribute to Drew Williams with commanding win
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On Senior Night, the parents of Drew Williams strode down the Lane sideline and were engulfed in a wave of emotion. Chris and Jodi Williams and their younger son, Lane sophomore Bryce, responded with appreciation and support for the warm gestures from Lane’s outsized community.

Lane senior wing back and defensive back Drew Williams remained hospitalized in critical condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn from complications of a subdural hematoma, where blood collects at the surface of the brain.

In Lane’s first game since Williams suffered a seizure on the sideline in the fourth quarter against Dunbar last Friday, the Indians paid the finest tribute possible.

Lane utilized dominant plays on special teams and a big-play offense to hammer Foreman 52-14 Friday night at Lane.

“Drew’s my best friend, and when we found out before the game his condition has improved, that was a win before the game even started,” Lane senior offensive tackle Joe Loch said. “It’s been very tough to get ready for football, and his family is still in a difficult position, but we did this for him tonight.”

In every respect, it was a typical Friday night football game under the lights. Except it was much more. The Lane coaches, teachers and fans wore custom printed, light yellow colored shirts emblazoned with Williams’ No. 3. His last name was on the back, marked by his favorite personal expression, “Let’s Eat,” at the bottom.

Athletically, the game meant something between two teams who were otherwise struggling in the Illini Red Bird division. Lane and Foreman entered the game in fifth and sixth place of the section, respectively. The loser faced the prospect of dropping into the lower level Chicago conference next year.

For this night, the question of winning or losing was purely secondary. A large and boisterous crowd came out to support a fallen teammate. Students held up placards, “We love you Drew.” The dance team wrote T-shirts with the words: “No. 3 on the field, No. 1 in our hearts.”

The outcome was never in doubt as Lane bolted out a 9-0 lead before running a play from scrimmage as senior Danny Carlson returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown and Foreman snapped the ball out of the end zone for a safety. “I didn’t think I’d get to the ball, but it took a friendly bounce,” Carlson said.

“The team really came together this week for Drew,” he said. “That touchdown set the tone and got us going, and from there, we knew we were going to win this game for our brother.” Carlson added a second punt return touchdown and also scored on a 29-yard run.

Lane junior quarterback Jason Santana accounted for three first half touchdowns, running 55 yards on an option, adding a two-yard touchdown run and connecting with Francisco Rios for a 14-yard touchdown as Lane (4-3, 2-2) seized a 31-8 lead at the break.

“Drew’s our captain, the heart and soul of our team, and everybody on this team tonight played with him in their hearts,” Santana said.

Angelo Barrera and Daxavious Jones scored a touchdown apiece for the Hornets (1-6, 0-3).

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