By Wendell Womack
Last year, the Winston Patriots lost to the Lamar Raiders 66-21 in a game that saw the Patriots “lie down” and quit.
This year, the Patriots lost to the Raiders 55-27 but never gave up. The score was no indication of how close this game could have been, that saw the Patriots within a touchdown distance until late in the third quarter.
Lamar added the first score of this marathon on their first possession but Winston answered right back to tie the game at 6-6 when Orien Dailey took it 48 yards for the score. Lamer then took the kick off back 82 yards to go back up 13-6 with 7:02 left in the opener.
Then with 25 seconds left in the opener, Zach Taylor broke across the goal line for the score and Taylor Moody ran the 2 point conversion run across to put Winston on top 14-13. Lamar would then add the only points of the second quarter with two more scores to send the halftime score to 27-14. Winston then came out to start the second half with a new load of momentum and worked the ball down field to the 26 yard line. It was at this point that Logan Webb connected with Moody for a 26 yard touchdown pass with Gage Graham adding the point after. This cut the Lamar lead to 27-21 with 10:06 left in the third quarter. The Raiders followed suit with a score of their on a 7 yard run with the 2 point run attempt failing to increase their lead to 33-21.
Disaster then hit the Patriots on a lost fumble, in which the Raiders took over an added another score and conversion run to send the score to 41-21 as the final quarter was about to get underway. Winston would open the quarter and face a punting situation. After the Raiders had moved the ball to midfield, Taylor Moody then got the Patriots in good field position when he gathered in an interception and returned it 33 yards to the Lamar 45 yard line. The Patriots were then stopped on a fourth down attempt and the Raiders took back over on downs with 7:07 left. They then added another score and PAT to increase their lead to 48-21 with 5:09 remaining. But the Patriots were not giving up and answered right back when Zach Taylor crossed the goal line from 1 yard out.
Winston’s try for two failed, but they had not given up and had cut the lead to 48-27 with 2:41 remaining in the game. But the final nail was put in Winston’s coffin with 24 seconds left on a returned fumble from the 5 yard line.
The successful PAT had ended all scoring with the 55-27 final score. Defensively, the Patriots saw Zach Taylor lead the charge with 9 tackles, followed by Ty Thompson and Taylor Moody with 7 stops. Moody also had a 33 yard interception return.
The offense saw Orien Dailey lead the rushing field with 93 yards and a score. He was followed by Zach Taylor with 67 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, and Logan Webb with 43 yards rushing.
The passing game saw Webb pass for 90 yards on 1 touchdown to Taylor Moody. Moody also ran a two point conversion and Gage Graham completed his only PAT attempt.
So the score was bad but the effort was not. Winston will try to continue to improve their play as they will entertain district opponent Canton, this week at Patriot Field. This game should show that the Patriots may be down with their 1-2 record, but they are not out. Game time is set for 7p.m.