Villers’ Play Sets Team on Winning Streak
Auburn’s Jace Villers scored the game-winning 10-yard touchdown during double overtime, ending Heir’s 25-19 game against FSP Future. The game-winning play solidified the team’s place in the April 27th Passing Downs Best of the West finals in Irvine, California.
Heir built an early lead 13-0 with their first two possessions. FSP cut the deficit on their next drive. FSP continued to score a second time but were unable to take the lead after missing their second point after touchdown (P.A.T).
With the game tied it was sent into overtime. FSP won the coin toss and elected to start defense. Heir took the lead 19-0 missing their P.A.T., allowing FSP the ball and ultimately to tie the game 19-19.
Winning the double-overtime coin toss, FSP chose to start on offense but threw two incomplete passes leaving the ball in Heirs possession.
Left with one down to go to win the game, Villers, who had stood out throughout the tournament, made his move. Villers made the game-winning catch and 10-yard touchdown. His score sealed Heirs spot in 2019’s Best of the west finals in southern California. Villers described making the play as “amazing. Coach [Jones] had been telling me from the sidelines that ‘big players make big plays,’ and that I needed to make the big play. I felt zoned in, and I had to make a big play and when I did it wasn’t a big surprise. But it felt good not to let my team down because that is one of my worst fears.”
When asked how he felt about his big MVP play Jace said “it feels great especially when I got the belt. When I held it up, I felt on top of the world.” And, “to see everyone so happy and smiling that’s what really captured it all for me.”
Heir Football’s owner and head coach, Superbowl XLIV champion Reggie Jones has great confidence in Villers. He is really proud of the growth Villers has shown during his time with Heir this last year, continually pushing himself to do better.
“Look around this field,” Jones said to Villers during the big game, “there are players from all over the northwest in attendance, and not one of them are better than you. You are the best player on the field and any field you step on.”
Coach Jones looks forward to his fourth nationally recognized tournament. Fighting the stigma that 7v7 football teams don’t benefit the children learning to play, stating “I am not saying that 7v7 is replacing tackle football or is all that is needed, but I am saying that it has become a big evaluation too in the process. The kids who are coming out of Heir Football Academy are performing at a much higher level than most because they are putting in the work to separate themselves.”
Asked what being a part of Heir Football means to him, Villers echoed Jones’ sentiment. “It’s meant everything. To be a part of something that can lead to my dreams becoming true is great. Coach [Jones] has helped me a lot telling me things that I need to work on and helping become a better football player.”
Breakthrough plays are important, but what’s more significant to Jones is seeing a player’s confidence built. “I’m more so moved by the breakthrough in confidence. [Villers] came in a bit reserved and unsure of himself. Now he believes in himself and walks around with a different confidence.”
Since defeating FSP, Heir has been on a winning streak. This streak helped them qualify for the Battle of the Crowns tournament on April 6-7. The tournament will be played in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Both Villers and Jones look forward to showing off their Pacific Northwest pride, and continuing that streak, in Atlanta at the Pylon National Championship in Atlanta, May 25-27th.
If you would like to support Villers and the rest of the Heir football team, please visit their Go Fund Me, organized to help raise funds for travel costs to the tournament.
UPDATE: This article last updated with new information 4/16/19 at 8:30am.