Region Goes to Bulldogs

Arkansas City High School sophomore Lucas Barnes hauls in an over-the-shoulder catch over Winfield junior defensive back Braden Ledford midway through the third quarter Friday night at Richard L. Jantz Stadium. The play set up an 18-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Braiden Mattocks to give the Bullodogs a 7-3 lead.

The Winfield High School football team won the Cowley Cup. The Arkansas City Bulldogs took the Region.

The Bulldogs scored 13 unanswered points in the second half to defeat arch rival Winfield 13-3 in the Class 4A Regional playoffs in front of another packed crowd at Richard L. Jantz Stadium.

Ark City senior tailback Braiden Mattocks was a workhorse, carrying the ball 36 times for 163 yards.

Mattocks gave the Bulldogs (4-6) the lead for good with an 18-yard touchdown run with 4:08 remaining in the third quarter. The score capped a seven-play, 82-yard drive that began on their own 18-yard line. But freshman quarterback Gabe Welch threw a pass to sophomore Lucas Barnes, who made an over-the-shoulder catch at the Winfield 48 for a 34-yard pass completion.

Mattocks capped a six-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

That play was set up when Winfield punter Jake Kaufman tried to scoop up a low snap on a punt, but the officials ruled he dropped his knee to the ground in doing so, blowing the play dead and awarding the Ball to Ark City.

The lone points in the first half came on the first drive of the game on a 21-yard field goal by Winfield freshman Austin Bryant about 2 1/2 minutes into the game. The big play of the drive was a 62-yard run by senior tailback Nolan Foust on second down to the Ark City 7-yard line.

Foust finished with 82 yards on eight carries, but ran the ball just once in the second half.

Welch was 4-of-4 passing for 48 yards in the second half, finishing 9 of 13 for 145 yards.

The teams combined for just 11 first downs and 4 of 12 on third-down conversions in the first 24 minutes. The big run by Foust helped the Vikings to 147 rushing yards in the first half, compared to just 35 by Ark City.

Welch threw his only interception of the game on third-and-5 from the Winfield 11-yard line when Winfield junior Braden Ledford made a diving catch of the interception at the 2.

For a more complete story with statistics, see Tuesday’s CourierTraveler.

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