Benedictine's Williams Wins Mr. Football

Cleveland Benedictine running back Ray Williams has been named as the 17th winner of the Ohio Associated Press Mr. Football award.

Cleveland Benedictine running back Ray Williams was second to nobody in Ohio high school football this year.

The 5-11, 185-pound Williams was the runner-up to Kenton's record-setting quarterback Ben Mauk in last year's Mr. Football balloting. But Williams was announced this morning as the 2003 Mr. Football award winner by The Associated Press after voting by a statewide media panel.

"My first reaction was a big smile on my face," Williams told the AP. "When I look back on all the great players who have won this award in the past, I know I have to try and give it my all to keep up the tradition."

Ironically, Williams will lead Benedictine against Kenton in the Division III state title game Friday at Canton's Fawcett Stadium.

During the regular season, Williams rushed for 2,099 yards and 27 touchdowns. Through the playoffs, he has scored 38 touchdowns while rushing 346 times for 2,707 yards in 14 games. His career totals are 947 rushes for 6,811 yards and 526 points.

Past winners of the Mr. Football award include Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, along with former collegiate stars Robert Smith, Bobby Hoying and Andy Katzenmoyer (Ohio State), Curtis Enis (Penn State) and Marc Edwards (Notre Dame).

Williams won in tight balloting, beating out Dublin Coffman quarterback Jack Rafferty. Other finalists for the award included running back Erik Haw of Columbus Independence, linebacker Marcus Freeman of Huber Heights Wayne, Dover quarterback Todd Lisowski and Dayton Chaminade-Julienne running back Javon Ringer.

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