The Winfield High School football team was unable to stop El Dorado’s run game, but they were able to halt the Wildcats for the better part of three quarters.
A 24-point fourth quarter, however, allowed the visiting Wildcats to pull away for a 32-14 victory Friday night in AV-CTL D-III action at Richard L. Jantz Stadium.
According to the KSHSAA, the Vikings (1-7, 0-4 AV-CTL D-III) play next Friday at El Dorado.
In yet another twist of irony, it would be the second straight season that the Vikings played the same team in both Week 8 and Week 9 of the season. Winfield lost to Buhler at home in Week 8 last year, and had to play the Crusaders in Week 9 at Buhler.
The Wildcats (4-2, 3-1) attempted just three passes, all incomplete, but racked up 359 rushing yards. Tailback Zach Wittenberg finished with 263 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries.
Winfield actually took a 7-0 lead when quarterback Riley Yingling found Braden Ledford for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 7:27 left in the first quarter. The play capped an impressive 11-play, 40-yard drive that was set up when Lance Austin returned the opening kickoff 37 yards. The score also followed a 3-yard run by backup tailback Mavrick Thomas on fourth-and-3 at the El Dorado 13-yard line.
El Dorado kick returner Drew Veatch returned the ensuing kickoff almost as far, 29 yards to set up shop near midfield.
The Wildcats needed just five plays, all runs by Wittenberg and finished with a 9-yard TD run, just 2:16 after Winfield scored. Veatch ran in a 2-pint conversion and El Dorado never trailed again.
Wittenberg fumbled on the Wildcats’ next drive and Parker Smith was there for the recovery, but the Vikings couldn’t capitalize and went three-and-out.
El Dorado recovered a Winfield fumble near the end of the third quarter and the Wildcats cashed it in on a 39-yard touchdown run by White on the second play of the fourth quarter.
Yingling was intercepted just 14 seconds later and the Wildcats and used a 15-play, 59-yard clock-eating drive capped by Wittenberg’s 1-yard TD run.
This time the Vikings responded.
On fourth-and-6, Yingling hit Trent Beckwith on a 65-yard touchdown pass and catch to cut the deficit to 10, 24-14.
The Vikings tried an onside kick, but Jaydon Sundgren recovered for El Dorado. Wittenberg scored four plays later on a 7-yard run to cap the scoring.
For complete coverage of WHS sports, see Tuesday’s CourierTraveler.