EL DORADO — The Winfield High School defense came through once again.
The red-hot Vikings shut out host El Dorado 17-0 in AV-CTL D-III action Friday night at BG Products Veterans Stadium.
With the victory, the Vikings (5-1, 3-1 AV-CTL D-III) clinched a Week 9 home playoff game. The worst they could finish is 5-3, and 11 teams have at least four losses in the Class 4A West Regional.
Winfield held the Wildcats (2-4, 0-4) to just 54 total yards, including 13 passing. They recorded eight tackles for loss, including one sack, and forced one turnover.
In fact, it was the defense — on special teams — that produced the first score of the game.
The Vikings went three-and-out on their first possession, giving El Dorado the ball near midfield. However, quarterback Gannon White was tackled in the backfield for a three-yard loss on first down and fumbled, though he recovered. A 15-yard chop block penalty on the Wildcats made it third-and-26, and tailback Drew Veach was stopped on a 7-yard run.
That set up El Dorado’s first punt of the game — or so it seemed. The ball was snapped over the head of punter Gavin Bell and Riley Yingling recovered the ball for the first touchdown of the game.
It didn’t get much better for the Wildcats from there.
On El Dorado’s second play after the score, Zach Wittenberg fumbled and Winfield sophomore linebacker Ar’mon Acosta recovered.
Four plays later, quarterback KC Crandall found Trent Beckwith on an 8-yard touchdown pass. Austin Bryant kicked both extra points and the Vikings had a 14-0 lead that lasted through halftime.
The Vikings moved the ball well on their first possession of the second half, aided by a personal foul on El Dorado. However, the nine-play drive stalled at the EDHS 10-yard line and Winfield settled for a 27-yard field goal by Bryant.
El Dorado’s best effort in the second half came on a 14-play drive that started at the end of the third quarter. The drive stalled, however, at the WHS 16-yard line and White was stopped at the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-6 and the Vikings took over.
The Wildcats had one final drive after Kaufman punted out of his own end zone, but a 15-yard chop block thwarted good field position, moving the ball back near midfield. A 15-yard facemask on third-and-25 gave them hope, but Wittenburg was stood up on fourth-and-4 with 48 seconds left and Winfield ran out the clock.
Crandall was just 4-of-8 passing for 54 yards, with no interceptions. Foust finished with 66 yards on 15 carries, but the Vikings were held to 48 rushing yards.
The Wildcats were just 1 of 16 on third-down conversions.
Morin led the defense with nine tackles, two for loss. Ledford registered eight stops and Audrik Parker recorded two tackles for loss.
The Vikings play next week at Wellington. The Crusaders (1-6) defeated Labette County 21-0 for their first victory of the season.
Statistics provided by Matt Shelton.
Winfield 17, El Dorado 0
W — Riley Yingling 29 fumble return (Austin Bryant kick), 7:34.
W — Nolan Foust 17 run (Bryant kick), 4:53.
W — FG, Bryant, 27, 5:39.
3rd Down Conv3-111-16
4th Down Conv0-04-7
Punts No-Avg Yards6-34.25-34.6
Time of Poss17:5430:06
RUSHING — Winfield, Nolan Foust 15-66, Trevin Biddle 1-0, Ar’mon Acosta 3-(minus-6), KC Crandall 9-(minus-12). El Dorado, Zach Wittenberg 17-55, Jake Johnson 7-22, Drew Veach 5-3, Gannon White 12-0, Jaydon Sudgren 1-0, Dravin Fowler 1-(minus-2), Kade Winn 3-(minus-8), Gavin Bell 1-(-29).
PASSING — Winfield, KC Crandall 4-8-0 54. El Dorado, Gannon White 2-3-0 13.
RECEIVING — Winfield, Aidan Harper 2-45, Trent Beckwith 1-8, Braden Ledford 1-1. El Dorado, Zach Wittenberg 1-7, Drew Veatch 1-6.