By DEREK TRIMM
Winfield 41 Vinemont 8
WINFIELD - Winfield trailed in a game for the first time all season, before reeling off 41 unanswered points en route to a 41-8 region victory over the Vinemont Eagles on homecoming, on Friday, Oct. 1, in Winfield.
The win improved Winfield to 7-0 on the season and 4-0 in Class 3A, Region 6.
The win also clinched a playoff berth for the Pirates for the fourth consecutive season.
The Pirates used a quick-strike offense and some timely defense to overcome the early Eagles lead and put the game out of reach.
“It’s another region win and I believe that clinched the playoffs for us,” said Winfield head coach David McKinney. “ I’m tickled to death for the win and the coaches did an awesome job.”
“We played like crap tonight mentally and emotionally, and we are going to get that corrected next week.
We needed this, and they hit us in the mouth pretty good and we needed some of that.”
“We are going to work hard this week and get ready to take care of our business at Holly Pond next Friday,” said McKinney.
Vinemont got on the scoreboard first, after forcing a turnover-on-downs on Winfield’s first possession. The Eagles used a steady rushing attack to move down the field before running back Brody Speer found a running lane and scampered 37 yards for a touchdown.
Colby Miller ran in the two-point conversion to give Vinemont an 8-0 lead with 6:55 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Rain Nolan pulled in the kick and found a wall of blockers around the left side and cut back to his right, and was pulled down at the Eagles six-yard line for a 56-yard return.
Drew Cook took the handoff on first down and raced into the end zone from six yards out.
Cook also ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8 with 6:13 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles began their next drive at their own 28-yard line and Vinemont’s Miller tried to run up the middle, but Cook met him in the backfield and forced a fumble that was recovered by Jordan Mastin for a scoop and score touchdown for Winfield.
Brooks Smith’s extra point was good, giving Winfield the lead 15-8 with 6:13 left in the first quarter.
Both teams traded possessions to end the first quarter and the Pirates forced a turnover-on-downs and took over at their own 32-yard line.
Joseph Cox needed only one play to reach the end zone as he ran to his right and broke one tackle and raced down the sideline for a 68-yard touchdown run.
Smith’s extra-point attempt missed its mark, but the Pirates' lead grew to 21-8 with 10:47 left in the second quarter.
The Pirates’ defense stood tall to the Eagles’ running game and forced a turnover-on-downs and took over at the Eagles’ 39-yard line.
Aidan Quinn completed a pass to Cox out of the backfield for four yards, and then Cox ran for nine more down to the 26.
Cook finished off the drive weaving his way through the Eagles’ defense for a 26-yard touchdown run.
Smith’s extra point was good and the Pirates extended their lead to 28-8 with 7:32 left in the first half.
Winfield’s defense stepped up once more and forced another fumble recovered by Cook setting up the Pirates at the Vinemont 48.
Quinn got the drive rolling with a seven-yard run, and then he passed to Ja’borri McGhee for seven more down to the Eagles 34.
Cook ran for 13 yards to the 21, and then Quinn capped the drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Seth Kemble.
Smith’s extra point was no good, but the Pirates' lead grew to 34-8 with 3:18 left in the first half.
Winfield’s defense stuffed the Eagles on a fourth-and-two at their own 32-yard line, getting the ball back with only 1:56 remaining in the second quarter.
After picking up four yards and then losing 10 to a holding penalty the Pirates were faced with a fourth-and-14 at the Eagles’ 35.
Quinn took the snap and passed to Mastin in the end zone for a 35-yard scoring strike.
Smith’s extra point was good and the lead grew to 41-8 with 1:21 left in the first half.
Both teams traded possessions in the second half as the clock wound down on the game and the Pirates secured the 41-8 victory.
Winfield finished the game with 300 total yards, with 111 passing and 189 rushing. Quinn completed nine-of-20 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Cox led the running game with 89 yards on four carries and a touchdown.
Quinn ran six times for 67 yards, and Cook ran four times for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
Braxton Tilley rushed four times for 26 yards.
Kemble led the receivers with three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Mastin caught two passes for 45 yards and a score.
Hollis McMillan had one grab for 12 yards, McGhee caught one pass for seven, and Cox had one reception for four yards.
Winfield (7-0, 4-0 Class 3A, Region 6) will travel to face region foe Holly Pond (2-3, 2-1 Class 3A, Region 6) on Friday, Oct. 8.
See complete story in the Journal Record.