Winfield overcomes early struggles to rout Lamar County

Winfield’s Drew Cook readies to throw a pass.

By Derek Trimm
Winfield correspondent
VERNON — The Winfield Pirates overcame struggles in the first half and scored 33 unanswered points in the second half to rout the Lamar County Bulldogs on Thursday, Oct. 27 in Vernon.
Winfield’s offense and defense both struggled in the first half, only garnering 193 yards and giving up 228 yards to Lamar County. The Bulldogs led the Pirates 14-7 half way through the second quarter, but Winfield answered to tie the game before the halftime break. The offense found its footing in the second half rolling up five touchdowns and holding the Bulldogs to only 62 second half yards.
“Any win is a big win at this point in the season,” said Winfield Head Coach David McKinney in an interview following the win. “We dragged around in the first half, but Vernon (Lamar County) played hard and came ready to play and had something to play for.”
“We got a little better in the second half and started executing. When we execute we are pretty good. We stood around in the first half, and it was like we were waiting on someone to step up and that didn’t happen, and in the second half we figured out we had to do more than just an individual and came out in the second half and played better. There is no tomorrow now with the playoffs starting next week. You can’t play bad and think there is always next, because that isn’t the case now. We have to be ready to go from the start, and as coaches, we have to get them ready. Geraldine is going to be a very physical football team, and we better be ready.”
Lamar County received the opening kickoff and did not get any offense going on its initial drive and punted to the Pirates.
Winfield set up at their own 46 yard line for their first drive, and Quarterback Aidan Quinn completed a pass to Miles Gann for 32 yards to the Bulldogs 34.
Quinn, later, found Blake Ballard for a 13 yard gain to the 21, and then Keylan Hughes ran for 12 yards to the 9 yard line and four more to the 5 yard line.
Hughes finished off the drive from there with a 5 yard touchdown run. Jacob Barnes added the extra point to put Winfield up 7-0.
Lamar County got on the scoreboard in the waning moments of the first quarter as Ty Eskridge finished out a five play 66 yard drive with a 1 yard touchdown run.
Alexander Bradford added the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
Lamar County took the lead with 6:57 left in the second quarter, as the Bulldogs had a 15 play, 99 yard drive. Eskridge finished the drive with a 6 yard touchdown run, and with Bradford’s extra point, the Bulldogs pulled ahead 14-7.
Winfield answered on the ensuing drive as Quinn finished off a 51 yard drive with a 7 yard touchdown pass to Sean Wyers. Barnes’ extra point was good to tie the game at 14-14.
Winfield got the ball to start the second half, and the offense got things going as Quinn passed to Gann for 36 yards to move the ball down to the Lamar County 25 yard line.
Quinn ran for 5 yards and then passed to Gann again for 9 more to the 11 yard line.
Later in the drive, Quinn called his own number on a read option and ran in the end zone from 3 yards out. Barnes’ extra point attempt missed its mark, but Winfield took the lead at 20-14.
The Pirates’ defense forced Lamar County into a three-and-out on their first drive of the second half and Winfield took over at the Bulldogs’ 35.
Quinn went back to the ground game picking up 17 yards down to the Bulldogs’ 18, and then Drew Cook carried it the rest of the way for an 18 yard touchdown run. Cook ran in the two point conversion to push Winfield’s lead to 28-14.
After forcing another punt by Lamar County, Winfield took over at the Bulldogs 49 yard line and needed only one play to reach the end zone as Quinn threw deep to D’Angelo Bankhead for a 49 yard touchdown pass. Barnes’ extra point attempt was no good, but the lead grew to 34-14.
Winfield added another score to start the fourth quarter as Hughes capped a 9 play, 56 yard drive with a 1 yard touchdown run.
The two point conversion pass attempt was no good, but Winfield extended its lead to 40-14.
Winfield added one final score late in the fourth quarter as Quinn passed to Gann for a 4 yard touchdown. Barnes’ tacked on the extra point to push the Pirates’ lead to 47-14.
Winfield’s defense held the Bulldogs on their final drive as time expired.
The Pirates finished the game with 453 yards, with 272 passing and 181 rushing.
Quinn completed 16-of-23 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns.
Quinn led the rushing attack with nine carries for 110 yards and one score. Cook ran 10 times for 37 yards and a touchdown. Hughes ran nine times for 33 yards. Gann ran once for one yard.
Gann led the receivers with four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Bankhead grabbed two receptions for 68 yards and a score. Thackary Box caught three for 62 yards. Preston Nelson had two receptions for 25 yards. Wyers had four catches for 23 yards and a touchdown. Ballard had one catch for 13 yards.
Defensively Eli Aldridge had two sacks, and Kyson Key recorded a sack.
The win improved the Pirates to 9-1 on the season, and they will host the Geraldine Bulldogs (7-3) in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Friday, Nov. 4 at Estes Hudson Stadium.


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