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A throwback to Caleb Williams’ championship-winning Hail Mary, a top play of the decade

With the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears picked a player they hope will become the quarterback they have needed for oh so long to win a championship: Caleb Williams.

The former USC star and Heisman winner’s championship pedigree goes back to his prep days, and as a sophomore at Gonzaga High School (Washington, D.C.) in 2018, Williams put together one of the best championship performances the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference has seen — and clinched it with one of the greatest high school football plays of the decade.

Williams had led the Eagles to a go-ahead touchdown with 29 seconds remaining in the game vs. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), but the squib kickoff was returned to the house for a touchdown. Williams had 15 seconds to go to re-capture the league and terrible field position to do so.

It didn’t matter. In a precursor for things to come that would awaken anyone in the nation who wasn’t already on board, Williams and then-teammate John Marshall did this:

Gonzaga won 46-43. Williams finished the game with 358 passing yards and three passing touchdowns along with 113 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Williams scored three of his six total touchdowns in the final 3:03 of the game, rushing for the first and then passing for the second two. That year, as a sophomore, he was named Gatorade’s Washington D.C. Football Player of the Year.

The rest is history. He spent a year at Oklahoma before transferring to USC, where he won a Heisman. He built up his draft stock and got taken with the first overall pick.

The Bears have their guy. If history is any indication, they chose well.

Story originally appeared on High School Sports