The Winder-Barrow High School football program has been through some struggles in recent years, but Friday night at W. Clair Harris Stadium may turn out to be a game to remember as one which changed the fortunes of the Bulldoggs.
WBHS (2-2 overall, 2-1 in Region 8-AAAAA) defeated visiting Loganville High School 46-7 in a game which initially appeared would be competitive. The Bulldoggs led 25-7 at halftime and never looked back in their second region victory of 2014.
“This was a huge win,” said receiver Ryan Evans. “We felt confident coming into tonight and just want to keep this momentum going.” LHS actually put the first points of the night on the scoreboard on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 7:18 left in the first quarter.
The Red Devil defense had forced WBHS to punt on the opening possession of the game after the Bulldoggs stalled on a fourth and five at the LHS 45-yard line.
WBHS would answer, however, on a 1-yard run by CeCe Green and then took the lead on a successful two-point conversion pass from Evans to Bradyn Randall.
LHS appeared set to put more points on the board on its second series of the game, but a high snap from the center to the quarterback was recovered by Winder-Barrow’s Cole Baggett.
The Bulldoggs then marked 53 yards and added three points on a 35-yard field goal by Alan Leighton with 10:49 before halftime.
A fumble recovery by Anthony Gates put WBHS in business again. This drive ended on a five-yard touchdown pass from Noah Chapman to Evans.
Randall then added the final score of the first half on a 30-yard pass from Chapman.
The Red Devils tried to put more points on the board before halftime, but a sack by John Pritchett on a fourth and two play ended the LHS drive and pretty much sealed the win.
Green would add scores on runs of two and 13 yards in the second half before backup running back Javonne Hughes capped the night on a two-yard run. Green finished the night with 176 yards and three scores on 22 rushes.
Chapman was 11-of-20 through the air for 180 yards and two scores. Randall caught three passes for 51 yards and a touchdown while Brandon Hayes hauled in two receptions for 51 yards. Evans finished with four catches for 25 yards and a score while Cale Horne had a big 45-yard catch.
Green and Chance Kitchens both had a reception.
“The win feels good,” said WBHS senior Santiago Carter. “We felt going into the game we had a chance to be successful. I believe we are beginning to show people how much we are improved. We just have to go back to work and get ready for next week and to get another region victory.”
The Bulldoggs benefited from strong play in all areas, coach Heath Webb said.
“We played a complete game in all three phases which is encouraging,” the coach said. “Coach (Brandon) Patrum and his staff had a great defensive plan going in, but we started slow. Once everything starting rolling things fell into place. No adjustments were made after Loganville’s first drive, we just started executing the game plan.”
WBHS will travel to Salem Friday and look to improve to 3-1 in region play. Friday’s game with Loganville was the Fox 5 Game of the Week with long-time Atlanta sports broadcaster Bill Hartman covering the event.