FAIRFIELD — Jadon Brisendine and Dion Williams have a good thing going.
Good thing for the Vanden High football team.
Brisendine, a junior quarterback, and Williams, a senior receiver, are on pace to have some of the best seasons at their respective positions in school – and city – history.
The Vikings (4-2) hope they continue their success when they host defending Solano County Athletic Conference champion American Canyon (5-1) for homecoming, Friday.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Brisendine and Williams have hooked up 39 times for 567 yards and 13 touchdowns so far this season, putting the latter in the top 10 (seventh, 10th and second) in all three categories on Vanden’s all-time single season list – with four regular season games remaining.
“I think it’s because of the time they spent in the offseason, especially summer and spring,” Vanden coach LeVon Haynes said of their connection. “They both ran track and formed a good relationship. In the summer they worked out, worked on their timing. They know where the other guy’s going to be because that trust is huge.”
Vanden’s had a string of record-setting quarterbacks under Haynes, from Blake McAhren (2005), Chad Hurst (2006-2008) and Ben Scott (2009-2011), but none had a chance to work with a receiver in the offseason as much as Brisendine did with Williams.
“That’s an advantage over the other guys,” Haynes said. “They didn’t have the chance to work with guys over the summer. That’s why the connection is so great. When you’re a quarterback, you just trust that guy and throw the ball to him no matter where he’s at.”
Brisendine is especially appreciative of Williams’ “ability to go after the ball,” the quarterback said. “He knows every weakness (in the defense) and attacks it. If he sees something, he’ll let me know and I’ll get him the ball.
“I see something and he knows I see something,” Williams said. “We’re on the same page.”
As with predecessors Hurst and Scott, Brisendine earned the starting quarterback job as a sophomore. Like the other two, he put up decent numbers, completing 125 of 241 passes for 1,726 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
Brisendine also threw 17 interceptions, including five his in his debut.
What a difference a year makes. In 2013, he’s completed 105 of 171 passes – upping his completion percentage from 51.9 to 61.4 – for 1,300 yards and 22 touchdowns with just five interceptions.
Haynes credits the change to “having that year under his belt, by understanding the offense a little more coming into his junior year and having great athletes around him making the plays they make.”
“The big difference I think is maturity, more understanding of the game, experience and patience,” he said. “Last year was my sophomore year, it was pretty new. This year we’re more together as a team.”
Brisendine’s on pace to throw for 36 touchdowns and 2,167 yards, which would rank first and fourth, respectively, in school history for a single season.
Williams is also challenging several Vanden records. He needs 12 catches, 468 yards and three TDs to set new single season marks and 21 catches, 578 yards and two TDs to become the school’s all-time leader in those categories.
“I don’t really like to compare him to all the other receivers we’ve had because we’ve had some great ones come through,” Haynes said. “He is up there with them by far.
“Those guys had some ‘so-called’ records. Almost every year someone breaks a receiving record. That’s a good thing. It gives guys something to shoot for. It’s something they talk about breaking.”
But it’s something Williams doesn’t like to talk about.
“I don’t try to compare myself with them,” he said. “I try to use them as something to shoot for. . . . They were great. I’m just trying to be greater.”
Williams’ success is no accident. Just ask his coach.
“He’s just a special individual,” Haynes said. “He catches the ball. He makes yards after the catch. He makes fantastic catches. He makes hard ones look easy. He’s just a special, special football player.”
Who’s part of a special passing connection.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.