By Wendell Womack
Typically, homecoming games are won by the home teams.
There was no exception to the rule last Friday night in Starkville, as the AAA Starkville Volunteers defeated the Winston Patriots in their homecoming game, 41-7.
In a contest that has a touch of rivalry between the two opponents, it was the Vols that took home the bragging rights as they owned the control of the wheel all night. Starkville scored on their first tow possessions to go up 14-0 at the end of the opening quarter.
After a Winston punt to start the second quarter, the Vols added 3 more points on a 22 yard field goal. Winston’s first of 3 fumbles followed on the next Patriot offensive series and Starkville capitalized with another field goal of 33 yards to increase their lead to 20-0 with 2:32 remaining before halftime.
Winston would then put their only points on the board on the following possession, when Orien Dailey took it 76 yards down the sidelines for the score.
Gage Graham added the point after kick to make it a 20-7 Volunteer lead with 1:50 left on the clock.
Starkville quickly answered back on a 56 yard touchdown pass and extra point to take their lead to 27-7. The following kickoff to the Patriots was gathered in by Taylor Moody, who broke through the pack and raced 99 yards for the “hopeful” score. But a block in the back penalty brought the run back and Winston started possession at the Vol 33 yard line with less than a minute before halftime.
Failing to score, the Patriots lost their touch of momentum, as they went into halftime, trailing 27-7.
Winston came out the second half and continued to shoot themselves in the foot with another fumble turnover, in which the Vols took advantage of with another score and extra point. An exchange of punts between both teams followed before Winston suffered their third fumble turnover of the night to put the Volunteers in another scoring situation.
This they did, as they added the final points of the night with an 18 yard run and extra point to close out the scoring with their 41-7 victory. As the Patriots finished with more rushing offense that the Volunteers, it was Orien Dailey who lead the rushing attack with 84 yards and a touchdown, and was followed by Logan Webb who finished with 78 yards on the ground.
On the defensive side, Taylor Moody led in tackles with 7 stops, followed by Orien Dailey with 6 and Noah Corcoran with 6.
So as the Patriots fell to 3-5, they will face a do or die playoff situation in their next two district games. They still have a chance of making the post season playoffs, but they MUST win out. As Immanuel travels to Patriot Field this week for the first of the next two district games, the Patriots will go into the contest with a “no tomorrow” attitude. Game time is set for 7:00.