The loss drops the Bulldogs record for the season to 0-4.
“We turned the ball over way too many times, that’s for sure,” Bulldogs head coach Alan Beckett said. “It sounds crazy to lose by that many points, but our defense played well.”
Beckett’s self-assessment proved to be spot-on, as it was special team errors and turnovers by the offense that hindered Winterboro for the bulk of the game.
It started in the first quarter when after Winterboro went three-and-out on their opening possession, they were forced to punt. Pirates senior LaDarius Brinson made the coverage team pay early, returning the punt 40 yards for a touchdown. Running back Thomas Stokes converted the two-point conversion, giving St. Jude an 8-0 lead over Winterboro.
The Pirates added a second touchdown before the end of the first quarter on an 18-yard pass from quarterback Sherman Grant to wide receiver Isma’il Saleem. Stokes failed to convert the two-point try, but St. Jude grabbed a 14-0 lead.
Winterboro opened the second quarter with a 50-yard touchdown run from running back Cardri Duncan. Kicker Jutorius Cook nailed the extra point to cut into St. Jude’s lead, 14-7.
Both teams’ defense would clamp down on the opposing offense for the rest of the second quarter.
At the start of the third quarter, it appeared as if Winterboro would establish some momentum when a sack split by Bulldogs’ B.J. Twynum and Cedric McKenzie forced St. Jude into its first three-and-out situation. The special teams nightmare resurfaced as Duncan muffed the return with St. Jude recovering on Winterboro’s 39-yard line.
Two touchdowns passes by Sherman later, Winterboro found themselves on the ropes 26-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs tried to stop the bleeding by punching in a 5-yard touchdown run by Duncan, but St. Jude would answer with two more touchdowns, ending the game in favor of the Pirates, 40-14.
With the victory, St. Jude evens their record for the season at 2-2.
“I wouldn’t say that we were dominant,” Pirates head coach Fred Brock said. “We have a lot of growing up to do as a team.”
Winterboro takes on B.B. Comer at home next Friday.
Contact Shane Dunaway at email@example.com