The Winters High School football teams took on Durham High School in their first home conference game on Friday, Sept. 24.
The WHS varsity football team beat the Trojans 7–6 during a game that had the crowd sitting on the edge of their seats.
“It was a huge win for us. The Durham team was undefeated and loaded with talent,” said Head Coach Daniel Ward.
Justice Madsen had two exceptional interceptions, one of which stopped Durham from capitalizing on their attempt at a two point conversion. This interception ended up being the difference, allowing Winters to win. Ethan Demment and Davis Reyes both demonstrated adequate physical skills, mental alertness and discipline on the line of scrimmage, stopping the Trojan’s attempts to gain yardage. While Madsen, Demment and Reyes all played an excellent defensive game, Grayson Roberts really stepped into the spotlight.
“Grayson is quickly becoming one of the best players on both sides of the ball,” Ward said.
Not only did Roberts play a great defensive game — leading the Warriors with seven tackles — he also played his best offensive game to date. Roberts successfully made three hard-earned catches and gave the Warriors 101 yards.
Memo Valadez also stood out offensively, making nine catches for a total of 127 yards and a Warriors touchdown.
“[Valadez] is just so smart and does a great job of finding holes in coverages and has had a lot of big catches in clutch situations,” Ward said.
Matt Moore once again threw a great game and is currently leading the sections in passing yards, but more importantly than this, is his aptitude for leadership.
“[Moore] is the one that keeps us going in good times and bad,” Ward said.
While the Warriors did play a great offensive game, earning more than 400 yards, the varsity football team had a few setbacks in the red zone. The Warriors were first and goal three times and couldn’t manage to push through into the endzone.
“We have to find a way to get better in short yardage situations …. Our defense kept us in the game,” Ward said.
The WHS junior varsity football team beat Durham by a score of 36-6. Once again the junior varsity team came out ready to dominate.
Colton Brown, Diego Casillas, Jesse Madsen, Gio Jimenez, Sebastian Valadez and Moto Reyes all played a great offensive game. They all put in an exceptional amount of effort breaking through Durham’s defensive line to earn yardage and score touchdowns. Casillas stepped up and was all over the field and proved his ability and strength as a running back by consistently earning at least 15 yards with each of his runs.
“I am very proud of how he performed under pressure,” said Head Coach Chris Kays.
The Warriors offensive is clearly full of skilled players who know how to play the game, and while five touchdowns is quite impressive, the way the Warriors defense works together is unmatched.
“They fly to the ball every play and don’t stop until the whistle blows” Kays said.
There was a moment in the game where Durham was within 10 yards of the end zone. It looked like they were going to score, but the Warriors defense team battled and used their strength to push them all the way back to the 25 yard line, preventing a score.
“When you can give up a big play and the defense still keeps them from the end zone, that is a huge momentum booster,” said Assistant Coach Rudy Baylor.
Linebackers Jimenez and Sebastian V. were flying all over the field, finding the ball and stopping the Trojans from advancing into the end zone. Sebastian Pedraza and Casillas also performed well on the defensive side of the ball. Pedraza made a sack and effectively applied lots of pressure to Durham’s quarterback, forcing him to make plays. Casillas saved some big plays with hard tackles and ran the ball for about 25 yards after a muffed snap on a punt attempt.