When the Winfield High School football team won the Cowley Cup in Week 1 on Sept. 6, it’s likely that nobody figured the Vikings would see arch rival Arkansas City again this season.
As the Class 4A West Regional standings began taking shape, however, thoughts centered on the “what-if” scenario as Winfield hovered among the top five teams while the Bulldogs were in the throes of the bottom five.
The two teams just missed meeting in the Week 9 playoffs, but knew if both won that first-round playoff game, a second meeting would happen.
And it will.
Arkansas City at Winfield, Part II.
No, the Cowley Cup will not be on the line when the rivals kick off at 7 p.m. this Friday in Richard L. Jantz Stadium. But more important, the winner will advance to the KSHSAA Class 4A State Sectionals.
The Vikings did their part to make the meeting happen, shutting out El Dorado 17-0 on Friday night in the Week 9 playoffs at Jantz Stadium.
It was the second time this season that the Vikings (6-3) defeated the Wildcats (2-7), having won the AV-CTL D-III regular-season matchup 17-0 on Oct. 11 in El Dorado.
Winfield held the Wildcats to 71 total yards — all on the ground — in this one. El Dorado was just 3 of 17 on third or fourth down, and fumbled six times, losing two.
The Vikings rammed the ball down El Dorado’s throats with good ol’ smash-mouth football.
Winfield’s first drive consisted of six plays — all runs — that went 65 yards in 2:35, capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by Steele Morin.
Rinse, lather and repeat.
The teams combined for just six pass attempts, quickly moving the clock through the crisp, chilly night.
The Wildcats tried.
Aided by a 15-yard facemask penalty, they started their first possession of the game near midfield. Quarterback Gannon White took a keeper for 28 yards on their first play, but they managed just four more yards on the drive, turning over the ball on downs when Nolan Foust broke up a pass on fourth-and-6.
Austin Bryant, who was 5 of 5 in extra-point attempts, made it a 10-0 game with 2:27 left in the first quarter on a 30-yard field goal.
He didn’t have to wait long to kick again.
On El Dorado’s second play from scrimmage, Ty Bonesteel jarred the ball loose on a White keeper, and Gabe Heger was there for the recovery, setting up shop for the Vikings on the El Dorado 24-yard line.
Just one play was all it took for quarterback KC Crandall to find Chance Price on a 24-yard touchdown pass and catch, building the lead to 17-0 with three quarters still to play.
Defenses took over the rest of the first half, with three fumbles and two punts keeping the teams out of the end zone.
The Vikings came out of the locker room with the same success they had to start the game.
On the second play of the second half, Kaufman stripped White again on a keeper and Ace Singvongsa returned the fumble five yards to paydirt.
El Dorado’s Cody Meese punted on fourth-and-11 deep in his own territory, but the punt went just 17 yards. Crandall took a keeper 23 yards to the end zone to make it 30-0.
Crandall added a 26-yard touchdown run on the final play of the third quarter to cap the scoring.
Crandall only attempted five passes, completing two, but he was one of four Vikings with at least 40 rushing yards, picking up 69 on seven totes.
Foust led the way with 97 yards on just eight carries, while Morin finished with 88 yards on 10 tries. Ar’mon Acosta chipped in 43 yards on seven tries.
Gannon was held to 35 yards on 22 carries, while tailback Zach Wittenberg had 34 yards on 16 totes. Gannon threw incomplete on El Dorado’s only passing attempt.
Statistics provided by Matt Shelton.
Winfield 37, El Dorado 0
W — Steele Morin 19 run (Austin Bryant kick), 9:25.
W — FG, Bryant, 30, 2:27.
W — Chance Price 24 pass from KC Crandall (Bryant kick), 1:26.
W — Ace Singvongsa 5 fumble return (Bryant kick), 11:44.
W — Crandall 23 run (Bryant kick), 8:44.
W — Crandall 26 run (Gabe Heger pass from Crandall), 0:00.
3rd Down Conv2-120-6
4th Down Conv1-50-3
Punts No-Avg Yards6-27.02-38.0
Time of Poss26:5821:02
RUSHING — El Dorado, Gannon White 22-35, Zach Wittenberg 16-34, Jake Johnson 2-4, Jake Knowles 1-2, Dravin Fowler 1-(minus 4). Winfield, Nolan Foust 8-97, Steele Morin 10-88, KC Crandall 7-69, Ar’mon Acosta 7-43, Jake Kaufman 1-7, Trevin Biddle 2-1, Bonlukee Phosy 2-(minus 2), Daryus Reynolds 2-(minus 5).
PASSING — El Dorado, Gannon White 0-1-0 0. Winfield, KC Crandall 2-5-0 27.
RECEIVING — El Dorado, (none). Winfield, Chance Price 1-24.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — None.