Warriors clash against the Saints on the field

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The Winters High School football teams went up against St. Helena High School on Dr. Seller’s Field on Friday, Sept. 3. Varsity Football The Winters varsity football team lost their home non-conference game against St. Helena by a score of 34-21. The Warriors and the Saints battled throughout the entire game but in the end St. Helena’s defensive line was more aggressive and the Warriors just couldn’t win over that line of scrimmage. Matt Moore and Ethan Judd both played an amazing game. Judd was able to find the gaps and used his speed to make himself available for Moore to pass too. Moore threw over 327 yards in the game, which is extremely impressive considering a WHS quarterback has only thrown over 300 yards in a single game two other times. The very physical Saints defense put Moore under a lot of pressure but he still managed to throw two touchdowns and rush for 34 yards, putting another touchdown on the scoreboard for the Warriors. Judd was another standout offensive player for the Warriors. Judd had six catches, scoring two touchdowns, for a total of 165 yards in the game. David Reyes and Memo Valadez also made some critical plays, receiving several passes from Moore and gaining some valuable yardage for the Warriors. While the Warriors did a great job moving the ball forward they just weren’t able to capitalize on all the yardage they fought to earn. “We have to get better in the red zone. We had the ball inside the 10 twice and came away with zero points and that ended up being the difference in the game,” said Daniel Ward, varsity head coach. The Warriors undeniably played a better offensive game, seeing that their defense as a whole struggled to shut down St. Helena’s offense to get them off the field when they should have. The Warriors also struggled in the defensive backfield, giving up way too many yards in the air. While the Warriors defense as whole didn’t play their best game, Ethan Demment performed extremely well. “Ethan did a great job shutting down the dive most of the night which was a big part of their offense,” said Ward. The Saints had a very strong offense and while the Warriors put up a good fight the outcome, unfortunately, didn’t come out in their favor. JV Football On Friday, September 3, the Winters JV football team lost their home non-conference game against St. Helena by a score of 26-7. While Winters was able to get a couple good runs in, St. Helena’s strong defensive line was consistently driving the Warriors offensive line backwards making it extremely difficult for them to get close to the end zone. Colton Brown, Winters junior varsity quarterback, put a massive amount of effort into attempting to gain whatever yardage he could. “He ran the ball tough last night when he couldn’t make the intended passes,” said Rudy Baylor, junior varsity assistant coach. Gabriel Jimenez and Sebastian Valadez both managed to get through St. Helena’s defensive line with long runs. Jimenez had an explosive run during the first quarter, scoring the only touchdown in the game for the Warriors. Valadez also had an impressive run in the game before he was brought down by a St. Helena defender. In addition to Jimenez and Valadez, Ashton Baylor was another player that performed a very impressive offensive game. Baylor was asked to step in as quarterback in the fourth quarter, after Brown was pulled due to an injury. Baylor didn’t let the lack of practice get to him and successfully threw a touchdown pass to Diego Casillas during his first play. Unfortunately, the touchdown was called back on a penalty but it gave the Warriors the confidence boost they needed to finish the game. “The biggest obstacle for us was St. Helena’s offensive line. They were fast off the ball and ran their offense very effectively…they just wore us down,” said Baylor. Winter’s defensive line really had their work cut out for them. The Saints had an effective and fast offensive line but Michael Bazan-Jimenez, Valadez and Jimenez fought hard and played a great defensive game considering the drives the opposing team was making. Bazan-Jimenez practiced excellent coverage and kept his eye on the ball throughout the entire game, which allowed him to deflect one of the attempted passes made by St. Helena. Valadez and Jimenez also stood out defensively by getting involved in almost every single play and stopping St. Helena from putting an extensive amount of points on the board. “The best thing we did defensively was go for the ball and try to force fumbles,” said Chris Kays, junior varsity head coach. Armando Balderama was one of the players that recovered a fumble that was forced by Valadez in the fourth quarter, only to be taken away minutes later on a Saints interception. St.Helena played a hard game and while the Winters junior varsity football team made some great plays it just wasn’t enough to take home the win. While the outcome of the games against St. Helena wasn’t what Winters had hoped for but the Warriors are eager to learn and will go into their next game fired up and ready to play. The WHS football teams will play at Rio Vista this coming Friday, Sept. 10. Their next home game will be Friday, Sept. 24.

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