Warrior victory for homecoming

The Warriors football teams won their homecoming game against the Spartans.
Tony Garcia runs the ball during the homecoming game against Esparto. Photo by Jeffrey Rawlinson/Winters Express

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The Winters High School football teams played their first league game on Friday against the Esparto Spartans. The stands were full on both sides of the field. The Warriors started their league games with an overall record of 0-4, the lowest the Warriors have seen for many years. The Warriors took the field drawing from the energy from the crowd in the stands. The young quarterbacks from both junior varsity and varsity took that energy from the overwhelming support from everyone in town and led their teams to a much wanted victory. The Warriors league record is now 1-0. The varsity team played a good game with some lucky breaks and a few mistakes. “We turned the ball over four times, two of them inside the one yard line and another was an interception returned in the fourth quarter for a touchdown,” Coach Daniel Ward said. The Warriors will use those mistakes in Friday’s game as a learning opportunity and to become better. The Spartans had their fair share of mistakes as well, they had a fumble which led to turnover and many penalties on both sides of the ball, and lost a lot of yards. The Warriors defense held strong keeping the Spartans score to a minimum. On the other side of the ball the Warriors offense took control of the game in the second quarter, when the Warriors answered the Spartans, first score of the game. The Warriors did not give the Spartans another chance to score until the fourth quarter. “Offensively we need to fix the turnovers if we plan on competing for a league championship. Besides the turnovers I thought we played well for the most part. We had over 500 yards of offense and three different players rush for over 100 yards, which you don’t see very often,” said Ward. Carson Lowrie completed seven passes for a total of 122 yards and had 256 rushing yards. Tony Garcia caught three passes for 89 yards and had an additional 101 rushing yards. Aidan Cruz caught two passes and had 102 rushing yards. David Reyes caught one pass for nine yards and had 25 yards rushing.  “I thought Tony Garcia had his best game of the year. I was also proud of the way Carson bounced back and played in the second half, it showed a lot of mental toughness and he ended up with another monster game,” Ward said.  According to Ward, on the defensive side of the ball varsity gave up some yards but stopped the Spartans from many advances  in the second half of the game. He went on to say that the Warriors played well, forcing four turnovers and gave up one touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Lowrie made two tackles as well as a sack. Andrew Del Rio had three solo tackles and an interception where he gained 15 yards. Ward said that every week Cruz gets better as linebacker and makes the position his own, On Friday he made six tackles. Additionally, Jose Escabedo had seven tackles and Garcia had three tackles. The varsity team ended the game with a score of 35-15. The junior varsity Warriors’ offensive line pushed the ball down field, driven by quarterback Matt Moore completing the majority of his passes, said Coach Nate Plitt. They kept a pocket for Moore giving him enough time to complete passes or decide to run the ball. The Warriors scored four touchdowns in the game, two by Ethan Judd. Memo Valedez and Conner Ray also each had a touchdown. The offense controlled the field until the fourth quarter.  The junior varsity defensive line made several sacks, keeping the Spartans to 10 points. Justice Madsen, Conner Ray and Evan Plitt each made several tackles, helping the defensive line control Espartos advance of the ball. The final score on the game was 28-10. Next week the Warriors travel to Live Oak High School for a Sacramento Valley League Game, on Friday, Oct. 4. This will be the Warriors toughest league game to date, and possibly the toughest of the season.]]>

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