By DEREK TRIMM
BRILLIANT - Winfield’s defense gave up no yards and scored 37 points in the first quarter en route to a 51-0 victory over the Brilliant Tigers on Thursday, Sept. 24, in Brilliant.
The win improved Winfield to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in Class 3A, Region 6. Brilliant fell to 1-4 on the season and 1-2 in Class 1A, Region 6.
The Pirates offense took advantage of a short field in the first quarter forcing turnovers and getting a safety as the Pirates ran out to a big early lead. The Pirates defense came up with three turnovers in the first quarter including a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
“I thought we came out and took care of our business” said Winfield head coach David McKinney in an interview following the game. “We got to play a lot of young people tonight, so we will get a chance to look at them a little closer. We are going to be able to evaluate them and see how they have improved.”
“We got a region game next week with Vinemont and our team is a focused bunch and they have took care of business all year and we don’t expect nothing less,” McKinney said.
Brilliant received the opening kickoff and began its initial drive at their own 31-yard line. The Tigers first play from scrimmage was intercepted by Winfield’s Seth Kemble and he returned the interception 29 yards to the Tigers’ two-yard line.
Joseph Cox ran on first down for one yard and then Cox carried on the next play into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown.
Brooks Smith’s extra point attempt missed its mark, but Winfield took an early 6-0 lead with 11:12 left in the first quarter.
Both teams traded turnovers, and then Winfield forced another three-and-out by the Tigers and got the ball back at their own 37-yard line.
Aidan Quinn passed to Ja’borri McGhee for 31 yards down the Tigers’ sideline, and then on the next play Quinn threw a screen pass to Andrew Wallace for a 32-yard touchdown.
Smith’s extra point was good and Winfield’s lead grew to 13-0 with 5:37 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Brilliant setup at their own 20-yard line, but a bad snap on first down rolled into the endzone where WInfield’s Dylan Walker fell on the loose football for a touchdown.
Smith’s extra point was good making it 20-0 with 5:27 left in the first quarter.
After another forced three-and-out and punt. Winfield took over at the Brilliant 22-yard line.
Quinn needed only one play to reach the end zone again as he found McGhee on a post corner route for a 22-yard touchdown pass.
The two-point conversion run by Cook was good, giving the Pirates the 28-0 advantage with 3:21 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, the Winfield defense swarmed the Brilliant offense forcing a sack in the end zone by Cook giving the Pirates a safety and pushing the lead to 30-0 with 2:32 left in the first quarter.
The Pirates’ received the kickoff after the safety and Cox went back to work on the ground picking up eight yards and then four more to give the Pirates a first down at the Brilliant 47.
Cook took the hand off and made one defender miss and broke to the Winfield sideline and into the endzone for a 47-yard touchdown run.
Smith’s extra point was good and the Pirates extended their lead to 37-0 with 1:06 left in the first quarter.
Both teams traded possessions until late in the fourth quarter when Keylan Hughes scored for the Pirates on a five-yard touchdown run.
Smith’s extra point was good, pushing the Pirates lead to 44-0 with 11:07 left in the game.
Braxton Tilley added to the scoring for the Pirates as he scored on a six-yard run, and with Smith’s extra point finished out the scoring at 51-0.
“Winfield is very good football team,” said Brilliant head coach Brian Gunnels in an interview following the game. “We knew we would have to go play lights out.”
“Our kids played hard, played tough, and banged up. Winfield is 6-0 for a reason and good luck to them the rest of the season,” Gunnels said.
Winfield finished the game with 250 total yards, with 87 passing and 163 rushing yards.
Brilliant finished with 0 total yards, with 25 passing yards, and -25 rushing yards.
Winfield’s Quinn completed three-of-three passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Brady May completed his only pass for two yards.
Tilley led the rushing attack with 89 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
Cook ran once for 47 yards and a score. Hughes rushed seven times for 28 yards and a score. Cox ran four times for 14 yards and a touchdown.
McGhee had two catches for 53 yards and a touchdown, while Wallace grabbed one pass for 32 yards and a score. Phoenix Sandlin caught one pass for two yards.
Defensively Levi Gilbert, Cook, and Walker each had a sack, and Kemble and Walt Hennicke each had an interception.
Trevor Barton led Brilliant’s rushing attack with 32 yards on 10 carries.
Jacob Barnes completed five-of-seven passes for 24 yards. Wiley Hanson completed two-of-four passes for one yard.
Jaedon Lipsey led the receivers with four receptions for 13 yards. Carson Lawrence caught one for five yards. Austin Self grabbed one pass for four yards, and Elijah Harding caught one pass for three yards.
See complete story in the Journal Record.