What a way to start a season — scoring 20 points in both the first and second quarter to take a 40-12 half time lead. That’s how Friday night went for the Winters High School varsity football team as they traveled to Wheatland to take on the Pirates in their season opener and came home with a 54-12 victory.
This is what coach Daniel Ward knew his team was capable of but wasn’t sure how they would start the season.
“Wheatland is a pretty good team,” Ward stated. “We played the most complete game we have played in a long time. I thought this could go either way. If we play our game with our talent we will do exactly what we did. But how will we respond when someone else starts that way against us?”
The bad news for the Warriors is something Ward already knew as well: they have to stay healthy. Unfortunately on Friday, Aug. 25, the Warriors watched their 18 man roster go down to 16 with injuries to Evan Judd and Avondre Coleman Tucker.
“Evan is our starting running back and Avondre is one of our best lineman,” said Ward. “But we had guys step in and step up and do a great job. That is how good this team is but sooner or later we are going to run out of players.”
Daniel Carrion had a big night for the Warriors at quarterback both through the air and on the ground. Carrion completed five of seven passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns and carried the ball six times for 87 yards and three more touchdowns. Dalton Lowrie also had a big night as he stepped into the running back position and gained 151 yards on just five carries with two touchdowns.
“Both of these guys did a great job,” Ward said. “Daniel took over the game with his leadership and his play and Dalton stepped in when we needed him with very little practice at running back and had a great night. With that being said, I have to give a lot of credit to our offensive line. They dominated the line of scrimmage.”
Before being injured Judd had 75 yards on just four carries and Anthony Jimenez had 20 yards on five carries. In the air, Carrion connected with Thomas Kakutani for two big plays resulting in 110 yards receiving and a touchdown for Kakutani. Anthony Carrion caught two passes as well for 36 yards and a touchdown, while Jimenez caught one pass for a 25 yard touchdown. Daniel Carrion also made six of eight PAT kicks.
Defensively, the Warriors totaled 71 tackles, led by Jaime Garcia and Logan Pittman. Garcia totaled 11 tackles, while Pittman had nine tackles, two for a loss, had two sacks, two fumble recoveries and caused two fumbles.
“Logan was everywhere,” Ward stated. “He played a great defensive game for us.”
Atlas Martinez also had nine tackles and a fumble recovery. Anthony Carrion had seven tackles. Aaron Mendoza had seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Gary Molina had six tackles. Lowrie had five tackles and caused a fumble. Jimenez had four tackles. Paulo Leal had three tackles, Coleman Tucker, Erick Mendoza, Sergio Martinez and Josh Combs each had two, while Judd and Berny Covarrubias each had one.
The JV team had a rough season opener, falling to the Pirates 46-0.