The Bulldogs took advantage of early miscues by the visiting squad and turned those mistakes into points to take a commanding lead just minutes into the game.
On Verbena’s second play from scrimmage, the ball carrier fumbled and the homestanding Bulldogs were quick to cover up the ball. One play later junior Josh Taylor sprinted 48 yards around right end to score the first Winterboro touchdown of the night. Josh Struzik’s extra point attempt was good to give the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead.
Winterboro’s defense stifled the Red Devil offense throughout the night and Winterboro didn’t waste any time putting more points on the board once the Bulldogs got the ball back. Taylor did the honors again, running 34 yards for the Bulldog touchdown with 7:18 remaining in the first quarter. Struzik’s kick sailed through the uprights to give Winterboro a 14-0 advantage.
After the defense held Verbena to just four plays, the Bulldogs went back to work on offense. On the first play from scrimmage senior Colby Maddox sprinted 63 yards for the touchdown. Struzik’s extra point attempt was good to give Winterboro a 21-0 lead with less than 5 minutes remaining in the first stanza.
The Bulldogs found the end zone again on their next possession with Curtavius Gray bulldozing his way across the goal line from four yards out. The extra point attempt was no good, but Winterboro had the game well in hand, 27-0 with 41 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
A Maurice Mills interception to start the second quarter set the Bulldogs up with good field position once again. It took a few more plays, but freshman Cardri Duncan rushed for a 24-yard touchdown to extend Winterboro’s lead. Struzik’s extra point attempt was good to give the Bulldogs a 34-0 lead with 8:35 to go in the first half.
Winterboro head coach Adam Fossett began substituting players in the second quarter and the score remained the same at intermission.
Winterboro got the ball to start the third period and scored its final points of the night on the second play of the drive. Maddox did the honors once again, scoring from 60 yards out with 11:14 to go in the third period.
Verbena got on the board late in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by Christian Coston. Coston then completed a pass to Dustin Short for the two-point conversion with 43 seconds remaining in the game to make the score 40-8.
Coston finished with 50 yards rushing for the Red Devils.
Maddox led the Bulldogs in rushing with 123 yards and two touchdowns on two carries. Cardri Duncan added 88 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Taylor rushed two times for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Gray added 20 yards and a score.
Taylor’s yardage pushed him over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season.
“That was my goal from the beginning,” Taylor said. “The line did a great job blocking for me and all the other guys. I give all the praise to them and to God.”
The seniors on the Winterboro squad were pleased to keep the streak of homecoming wins alive on Friday.
“It was great,” senior David Turner said. “We’ve won every homecoming game with coach Fossett.”
Maddox said winning his last homecoming game meant a lot to him, but he was also proud to get the win for his coach.
“It feels real good,” he said. “I’ve been playing with these guys for two years. Coach Fossett always tells me to do my best…I’m going to miss him.”
The Bulldogs move to 6-3 on the season and 4-3 in region play. They’ll round out regular season play on Thursday when they host Vincent.
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