‘Heartbreaking’ Injury Ushers in New Quarterback

Brady Williams, sophomore, is becoming the start-up Quarterback for Misericordias Football team.

Brady Williams, sophomore, is becoming the start-up Quarterback for Misericordia’s Football team.

Michael Diakunczak, Reporter

Brady Williams, sophomore, is becoming the start-up Quarterback for Misericordia’s Football team.

Sophomore quarterback Brady Williams is having his debut after an unfortunate turn for the football team’s senior quarterback.

Williams, who comes from Potomac Falls High School in Sterling, Virginia, got the opportunity to take over as the new leader of the offense when the Cougars faced Albright College at Mangelsdorf Field for the second game of the season. Senior Brandon Leap, named  starting quarterback for the season, suffered a broken collarbone during the second half of the game. Williams took over and finished with 171 yards passing, 65 yards rushing, and he had a touchdown recorded through the air.

Leap said that his season-ending injury was  heartbreaking.

“I immediately knew what happened since I broke my other collarbone before and it was absolutely demoralizing for me, ” Leap said. “I worked very hard in the offseason, and it hurts a lot to have it all taken away. I miss playing already.”

Williams began his career on the collegiate level with junior varsity experience as a freshman. Williams got his first varsity collegiate snaps at the end of the season opener when Misericordia took on Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York on Sept. 2.

Williams decided to  play for Misericordia because he believes in the program and the competitive edge it brings. He believes he has what it takes for the quarterback position.

“It’s really like betting on yourself. I bet on myself since day one, and I’m glad I bet on to come here. I think I could execute both the run and pass which could help this program. The real reason why I choose the program is because I like to compete,” Williams said.

He added that his goal is simple: to win games.

Williams attempted to carry his momentum after the Albright game as he prepared to make his first varsity start on the collegiate level as Misericordia traveled to Chester, Pa. to face Widener University. After a long week of preparation, Williams said he began to notice the big difference between going into game day as a starter rather than a backup.

“It is a lot different than going into a game as a backup because you know you prepare in a similar way, but the first play [as a starter] you are going to be in there and know exactly what you are going to do. You cannot take mental reps anymore; now everything is real and everything is live. If you make a mistake, everyone sees it. So it is a lot more pressure,” said Williams.

Williams used his first career start to generate a high power offense for the Cougars against an impressive defensive side of the ball for Widener. Completing over 50 percent of his pass attempts, Williams racked up 256 passing yards and three passing touchdowns on the day. In addition, Williams  had an effect in the ground game as he rushed for 110 yards on 19 attempts. On what was a productive day for the Cougars offense and the debuting Williams, Misericordia fell short against Widener 34-21.

Williams wants to lead the charge to help Misericordia football turn around and make history this season.

“I feel like we can win. We had a lot of close games last year. I feel like we are very close this year,” he said.

He said the team has often been just a few plays away from victory. ”

We have been competing in those games. I can’t really see us not coming through with a more than a one win season, and if I happened to be the quarterback while it was happening, I think it would be pretty cool. At the end of the day, I try to win more than just one game. I want to win every game we play in.”

Leap said Williams can accomplish his goal to turn the program around.

“I love Brady. He is a great kid, and I hope the best for him. I’m very excited to see what he can do on the field. He brings a very dynamic play style to the game that I think can really benefit the team,” Leap said, adding that he expects to see the team winning games.

“That’s what we need to start doing, and with Brady at quarterback and doing the things I know he can, I think it puts us in a great position to win,” said Leap.