The offense got things going early as quarterback Josh Taylor marched the Bulldogs down the field on their first possession. Taylor capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to give the home team a 6-0 lead with 8:14 remaining in the opening stanza.
Loachapoka answered back quickly, going 64 yards in three plays to tie the score 6-6. Tracy Brooks scampered 23 yards for the touchdown with 7:39 remaining in the first period.
Winterboro marched back down the field on their next possession with strong running from Taylor and Curtavius Gray. Gray capped the 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs the advantage once again, 12-6 with 4:31 remaining in the opening quarter.
Loachapoka’s offense sputtered late in the first period and the Winterboro defense quickly attacked. Colby Maddox intercepted a pass from Indians quarterback Jywon Moss with 3:04 to go in the first quarter. Winterboro was unable to score off of the turnover, but the defense came up big again after the Bulldogs were forced to punt.
The Indians had the ball on their own 5 yard line to start the possession, but the first pass from Moss was intercepted by Maddox again. He had three interceptions for the game. Maddox set the Bulldogs’ offense up at the Loachapoka 1 yard line with 9:44 to go in the second period.
It took Winterboro two plays to find the end zone with Gray bulldozing his way across the goal line from 2 yards out. Taylor carried the ball into the end zone for the two-point conversion to give Winterboro a 20-6 lead with 9:02 remaining in the first half.
Winterboro’s defense continued to pick apart Loachapoka’s passing game in the second half. Taylor snagged a pass from Moss on the Indians’ second possession of the third quarter. Just a few plays later the Winterboro signal-caller scored on a 17-yard run. Josh Struzik’s extra point was good to give the Bulldogs a 27-6 lead with 3:49 to go in the third stanza.
Loachapoka scored its final points of the night with 10:40 remaining in the game on a 47-yard pass from Moss to Gertavious Canada. The two-point conversion was good to bring the score to 27-14.
Taylor struck again on the Bulldogs’ next possession to put the game away. On third down and three at the Winterboro 27 yard line, Taylor tucked the ball and scurried 73 yards to paydirt to give Winterboro a 33-14 lead with 8:55 remaining in the game.
Maddox picked off another Loachapoka pass to give the Bulldogs the ball back with 8:34 remaining. Jalen Whetstone intercepted another pass by Moss with 5:44 remaining in the game.
Winterboro drove the ball 68 yards on their final scoring drive. Branon Wilson carried the load and punched it in from 17 yards out with 39 seconds remaining in the game. Struzik’s kick was on point and the Bulldogs had their final points of the game, 40-14.
The Bulldogs’ defense held Loachapoka to 157 yards of total offense. Moss was 3-15 passing with five interceptions for 56 yards. He was the leading rusher for the Indians with 38 yards on four carries.
“They played extremely well tonight,” Winterboro head coach Adam Fossett said of the Bulldogs’ defense.
Fossett said defending the passing game was a concern heading into the ballgame.
“Our numbers are up, but it was still real hard to simulate all of their plays (in practice),” Fossett said.
Winterboro finished with 372 yards of total offense, all of which came on the ground. Taylor led the way with 207 yards on 22 carries. The junior had over 100 yards in the first quarter alone.
“The kid’s an athlete,” Fossett said of Taylor. “He’s been with me since he was a ninth grader. It’s been fun to watch him grow.”
Wilson finished with 87 yards on 18 carries while Gray added 78 yards on 16 carries.
The Bulldogs move to 5-1 on the season and 3-1 in region play. Winterboro hosts Wadley on Friday.
Contact Heather Baggett at firstname.lastname@example.org