AUGUSTA — The Winfield High School football team stormed back from a 16-point halftime deficit Friday night, but a last-minute touchdown allowed host Augusta to escape Armand Hillier Stadium with a 41-35 victory in AV-CTL D-III action.

Augusta quarterback Jett Hand found Ryan Andrews on an 8-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds remaining for the game-winner.

The Vikings (1-5, 0-3 AV-CTL D-III), who trailed 28-12 at halftime, spent the better part of the second half playing catch-up, finally pulling even on a 3-yard touchdown keeper by quarterback Riley Yingling, his fourth touchdown of the game, with 2:02 remaining.

Tailback Ar’mon Acosta finished with 230 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, but a fumble and 55 yards in penalties proved costly for the Vikings.

Augusta struck quickly when Tyler McConathy returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown.

Braden Ledford intercepted a pass from Hand and returned it 25 yards to the Augusta 6-yard line. Acosta ran it in on the next play, but Winfield missed the extra point.

Winfield got the ball back, but fumbled, and the Orioles (2-4, 2-2) cashed in with a three-play, 20-yard drive capped by a 12-yard touchdown run by Ely Wilcox for a 14-6 first-quarter lead.

A fourth-and-1 stop allowed the Orioles to march downfield on a 10-play drive that ended when Hand found Wilcox again, this time on a 42-yard scoring strike. Hand’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Sebastian Flower made it 28-6 with 3:48 left in the first half.

After a holding call, Acosta broke free on a 54-yard run and followed with a 19-yard scamper to set up first-and-goal. Yingling took it in for a 1-yard TD run, but the Vikings failed on the 2-point conversion.

Yingling scored on a 4-yard third-quarter keeper, then hit Lance Austin for the 2-point conversion to make it a one-possession game, but Holt Williams opened the fourth quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run for Augusta.

Yingling’s third TD run of the game came with 5:29 remaining from the 4, and he scored again from the 3, then ran in the conversion to tie the game 35-35.

For complete coverage of WHS sports, see Tuesday’s CourierTraveler.

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