By Derek Trimm
MIDFIELD — The Winfield Pirates got back in the win column with a 44-18 victory over the Midfield Patriots on Thursday, Sept. 21, in Midfield.
The win notched the Pirates its first region victory of the season and brought their record to 3-1 on the season and 1-1 in Class 3A, Region 5 play.
Winfield got off to a fast start and jumped out to a 35-0 lead before Midfield scored late in the second quarter, and the Pirates added one more touchdown and a safety to put away the Patriots.
Winfield received the opening kick off and returned the ball to their own 31-yard line. The Pirates needed only three plays to reach the end zone. Brady May completed a pass to D’Angelo Bankhead on first down picking up 11 yards, and then Keylan Hughes ran for 2 more yards. On the next play, May passed to Bankhead on a slant pattern and he raced 56 yards for the touchdown.
Jacob Barnes added the extra point to give the Pirates a 7-0 lead with 10:53 left in the first quarter.
Later in the first quarter, Winfield put together another short scoring drive at the Midfield 36-yard line. To start the drive, May passed to Hughes out of the backfield for 9 yards, and then Hughes ran for 11 yards on second down to the 16. Hughes then took another handoff and ran into the end zone from 16-yards out for the touchdown.
Barnes' extra point put the Pirates on top by 14-0 with 2:32 left in the first quarter.
The Pirates forced a punt by Midfield and took over at their own 41-yard line.
May passed to Kruz Box for 10 yards to the Patriots 49, then Hughes took a handoff and ran through the defense for a 49-yard touchdown run.
Barnes’ extra point was good and pushed the Winfield lead to 21-0 with 11:02 left in the second quarter.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Pirates took over at their own 40, and Hughes went back to work getting first downs on runs of 13 and 10 yards respectively.
Later in the drive facing a third-and-seven, May passed to Box again for a 16 yard gain to set up the Pirates at the Midfield 17.
Declyn Morgan found running room on the next play for 13 yards to the Patriots 4, and later, Morgan punched it into the end zone from 1 yard out.
Barnes’ extra point missed its mark, but the Pirates’ lead grew to 27-0 with 7:27 left in the second quarter.
On the ensuing possession for Midfield, the Patriots were sacked for a 7-yard loss and Winfield's Kyson Key intercepted a Patriots’ pass and returned it 20 yards for a pick 6 touchdown.
Hughes ran in the two-point conversion to push the lead to 35-0 with 6:55 left in the first half.
Midfield returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to cut the lead to 35-6 with 6:31 left to play in the second quarter.
Midfield added another score in the third quarter to cut the lead to 35-12, and in the fourth quarter, the Patriots’ quarterback was being rushed by Winfield defenders and stepped out of bounds in the end zone for a safety to give the Pirates 2 points and push Winfield’s lead to 37-12 with 7:07 left in the game.
The kickoff following the safety went out of bounds, and the Pirates took over at the Patriots’ 32-yard line.
Winfield needed only two plays to reach the end zone again as Morgan carried for 21 yards to the 11, and then Morgan finished off the drive, on the next play, with an 11-yard touchdown run.
Barnes’ extra point was good and the Pirates extended the lead to 44-12 with 6:12 left in the game.
The Patriots added another touchdown late in the game to cut the lead to 44-18, and the Pirates ran out the clock from there to secure the region victory.
Winfield finished the game with 461 total yards, 296 passing and 165 rushing yards.
May completed 10-of-14 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. Blaine Bowen completed his only pass for 20 yards.
Hughes led the rushing attack with 153 yards on 12 carries and 2 touchdowns. Morgan carried 18 times for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kyson Key gained 24 yards on 5 carries, and Braxton Tilley picked up 9 yards on 6 carries. Brody Graham gained 5 yards on a carry.
Bankhead led the receivers with 4 catches for 85 yards and a score. Box caught 2 passes for 26 yards. Garrett Beasley caught one pass for 20 yards. Preston Nelson caught 2 passes for 13 yards. Morgan had one catch for 12 yards. Hughes caught a pass for 9 yards.
Winfield (3-1, 1-1 Class 3A, Region 5) will travel to take on county rival Hamilton (0-4, 0-3 in Class 4A, Region 5) on Friday, Sept. 29. It will be the 97th meeting between the two schools, and Hamilton holds a 56-35-5 advantage in the series. Winfield won last years’ matchup 52-0.
See complete story in the Journal Record.