A strong second half propelled the Winfield High School football team to a 28-7 victory against Labette County in nonleague action Friday night at Richard L. Jantz Stadium.
The Vikings (3-1) trailed 7-6 at halftime, but outscored Labette County 22-0 in the second half.
Winfield piled up 298 yards of total offense and forced five turnovers.
The Vikings were in position to strike first, moving the ball downfield to the Labette County 11-yard line near the end of the first quarter. But the Grizzlies (2-2) recovered a fumble to snuff out the threat.
Braden Ledford intercepted Labette County quarterback Kooper Peak near midfield to give the ball back to Winfield. And on the Grizzlies’ next possession, Steele Morin forced a fumble and Isaiah Morris-Lolar pounced on it as the Winfield defense clamped down.
This time they cashed it in.
Nolan Foust took a handoff and rambled 38 yards for a touchdown with 7:13 left in the second quarter. However, the Vikings missed the extra-point try.
That paid off for the Cardinals, who responded with 2:35 left in the half with a 72-yard touchdown pass from Kooper Peak to Nathan Smith.
The second half began much like the first, with neither team gaining a foothold. The teams combined for 12 punts in the game.
Winfield took the lead for good with the help of a mishandled punt that set up the Vikings at the Labette County 34. Four plays later, KC Crandall rambled in on an 11-yard keeper with 4:56 remaining in the third quarter, then tossed a pass to Kaufman for a 2-point conversion and a 14-7 lead.
Morin forced another fumble and this time recovered it himself, giving Winfield great field position again at the LCHS 39. But on fourth-and-5, Crandall could only muster four yards as the Grizzlies escaped the threat.
That mattered little, though, when Crandall hooked up with Ledford for an 84-yard TD pass on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 21-7 lead.
Aidan Harper picked off Peak on second down at the Winfield 16-yard line with 6:13 remaining to all but seal the victory.
What did seal the win was a 53-yard run by Foust to the LCHS 1-yard line with 2:59 left. Foust then took it in to cap the scoring.
Crandall finished with 150 yards on 10-of-17 passing. Foust led with 116 yards on 19 carries. Ledford was Crandall’s favorite target, hauling in five passes for 128 yards.
Peak finished 20-of-36 passing for 183 yards, with three interceptions.
The Vikings (1-1 AV-CTL D-III) remain home this Friday as AV-CTL D-III play resumes against Augusta. The Orioles (2-2, 1-1) defeated Wellington 21-14 on Friday.
Statistics provided by Matt Shelton.
Winfield 28, Labette County 7
W — Nolan Foust 38 run (kick failed), 7:13.
LC — Nathan Smith 72 pass from Kooper Peak (Caleb Haggard kick), 2:35.
W — KC Crandall 11 run (Jake Kaufman pass from Crandall), 4:56.
W — Braden Ledford 84 pass from Crandall (Ty Bonesteel kick), 11:45
W — Foust 1 run (Bonesteel kick), 2:32.
3rd Down Conv5-152-12
4th Down Conv1-30-2
Punts No-Avg Yards5-43.27-32.0
Time of Poss24:5023:10
RUSHING — Labette County, Trent Brock 9-26, Chase Evans 10-24, Tray Vinson 1-9, Kooper Peak 1-4, Nathan Smith 1-0, Caleb Haggard 1-(minus 11). Winfield, Nolan Foust 19-116, KC Crandall 6-28, Trevin Biddle 1-4, Gabe Heger 2-3, Ar’mon Acosta 4-2, Steele Morin 1-(minus 5).
PASSING — Labette County, . Winfield, Nolan Foust 19-116, KC Crandall 6-28, Trevin Biddle 1-4, Gabe Heger 2-3, Ar’mon Acosta 4-2, Steele Morin 1-(minus 5).
RECEIVING — Labette County, Nathan Smith 6-114, Ethan Jameson 5-38, Trent Brock 4-19, Derek Jones 1-8, Noah Yeoman 4-4. Winfield, Braden Ledford 5-128, Chance Price 2-20, Steele Morin 2-2, Aidan Harper 1-0.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — None.