BANGOR, Maine — Boston, Mass., and Winslow, Maine, don’t have much in common.
But they’re the hometowns of Husson University’s two star running backs.
Julius Williams and Justin Lindie are two reasons the 7-2 Eagles will host 6-4 St. John Fisher College (N.Y.) in Saturday’s noon ECAC Northeast championship game. It will be Husson’s first-ever postseason appearance.
East Boston High School product Williams has rushed for 1,134 yards on 190 carries for an average of 6 yards per carry. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior has scored 14 touchdowns and averages 126 rushing yards per game.
Winslow’s Lindie, a 5-11, 190-pound sophomore, has gained 765 yards on 150 carries for a 5.1 yards-per-play average. He averages 85 rushing yards per game and has scored 11 touchdowns. He also returns punts and kickoffs, averaging 12.3 and 24.9 yards per return, respectively. One of his touchdowns came on a punt return.
Lindie, who is also the team’s punter with a 34.1-yard average, is averaging 137.7 all-purpose yards with Williams at 125.7.
“We work hard. We don’t worry about individual stuff. We just go out and do whatever we can to help the team win,” said Williams.
“And we try to help each other out. That’s where our success is coming from,” said Lindie.
Junior right tackle Jon Benson said their styles are “similar in ways and different in ways.
“Lindie is very shifty and can make you miss very easily. Juice [Williams’ nickname] is the same way but he likes to run at you and through you. He has a little more power. But they’re both unbelievable to block for,” said Benson. “We make our blocks as perfect as we can and then they make cuts off us. Having backs like that makes our jobs a lot easier.”
“I wouldn’t say our styles are very different,” said Lindie. “We’re both elusive backs. Juice has a little more power than I do. That’s where we’d be different.”
“He’s stylish and I’m a tough guy,” said Williams. “We compliment each other very well. We’re a good one-two punch.”
Becker head coach Bill McDonald said both backs are very good.
“They both run hard. Williams is tough to bring down. Lindie has excellent vision. He sees the field real well,” McDonald said.
“They both hit the hole [quickly]. They’re downhill type of [runners],” added Mount Ida defensive backs coach Matt Minich.
Husson coach Gabby Price said the two backs can get the tough yards.
“They’re also excellent blockers. And they’re both humble, unassuming kids who are very well liked by their teammates,” Price said.
Williams and Lindie credit their offensive line with enabling them to rack up yardage.
“Everything starts with the offensive line along with the fullbacks and receivers,” said Williams. “And the coaches have taught us well.”
Lindie said the line works real hard in practice.
“They’ll actually talk to us and tell us what things are working,” he said. “If things aren’t working inside, they’ll tell us to cut it to the outside immediately. They’ll change the blocking scheme to help us out.”
The offensive line consists of tackles Ryan Esmail and Benson, guards Ben Emmott and Kyle Wedge and center Mike Austin. P.J. Dowe is the tight end and the fullbacks are Jamie Bonnell and Mike Toothaker.
“Their offensive line is very good,” said McDonald.
Even though they are from different backgrounds, the two running backs are friends who share a common passion.
“We love football,” said Williams.
They are excited about playing in Husson’s first playoff game.
“This game is such a huge thing. This is showing what Husson can do,” said Lindie. “I wouldn’t say we surprised ourselves. We expected to do well but we didn’t expect to make it into a bowl game right off. This is real big. We worked our tails off and got here.”
“This is a big thing for the city and the school. I’m ready to play,” said Williams.