On one hand, Friday, Oct. 20, was a night to honor the firefighters who rush in to harm’s way whenever called upon, especially after the last three weeks. The Winters High School football program raised over $2,500 for families affected by the Napa fires. On the other hand, it was a night that the Willows Honkers would soon like to forget.
The Warriors wanted to give recognition to the firefighters and to do what they could to raise some funds for a couple of families that lost their homes, so they called it Victim Relief Night.
“It was pretty cool to see what our community could do in a short period of time to help out the victims of the Napa fires,” coach Daniel Ward said. “One of the families that we are helping was a player that played for St. Helena High School. Obviously our game against them was canceled due to the fire, so they will have a presentation for that family at their next home game.
“The other family we are helping is from Napa and they lost their home as well. It’s a small token considering what they have gone through and lost but it’s a very generous gesture from our community to theirs, and that’s pretty cool.”
The coaching staff wore Winters Fire shirts to honor the fire department and asked the fans to do the same and to wear blue during the game. The Winters Warriors varsity football team took on the visiting Honkers in a Sacramento Valley League game and posted a 47-20 victory to improve their league record to 2-0.
The Warriors started the game with a quick drive and a score to go up 7-0. After a stingy defensive stop, the Warriors drove right down the field again and turned the ball over inside the five-yard line. After another strong defensive stand the Warriors repeated the effort and once again lost the ball inside the five.
“It was a very eerie start,” said Ward. “We dominated the whole first quarter but in the end we were only up 7-0.”
Winters eventually figured things out and took over the game leading 20-7 at the half and then putting 20 more on the board in the third and another seven in the fourth quarter.
“Overall we played a good game,” Ward said. “We are starting to get healthy with Evan Judd and Anthony Jimenez coming back after a long recovery for both of them. Having them both back is huge for us. We did have a few injuries that hopefully will be minor but we won’t know until Monday. We are right were we want to be, undefeated in league going into the last two games. These are both championship games for us.”
On the field, it was Daniel Carrion leading the Warrior offense with another big night. Carrion completed 9 of 13 for 164 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 114 yards on eight carries for anther two touchdowns including a 75-yard run.
Jimenez let his return be known with a total of 88 yards on the ground with just three carries and a touchdown with a long run of 58 yards. Judd totaled 74 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns on the ground. Dalton Lowrie carried the ball 12 times for 62 yards and Jaycob Pease had 15 yards on five carries.
In the air, it was the Carrion connection that led the way with Daniel finding brother Anthony for a 67 yard touchdown giving Anthony a total of 79 yards on two receptions. Thomas Kakutani had 49 yards and a touchdown on three catches. Pease caught two passes for 16 yards. Jimenez had a 15-yard reception and Lowrie had a five-yard catch. Sammy Gonzales went four for four on PAT kicks while Martin Alvarez made 1 of 2. Lowrie and Jimenez also added 81 and 25 yards respectively in return yardage for the Warriors.
The defense was once again led by Jaime Garcia with 14 tackles. Kakutani totaled 10 tackles with an interception. Logan Pittman had eight tackles. Judd had seven tackles. Atlas Martinez had six tackles. Jovanny Aguilera and Aaron Mendoza each had four tackles. Daniel Carrion, Lowrie, Adrian Cruz, Sergio Martinez and Josh Combs each had three tackles, Gary Molina and Kerby Borges each had two, while Anthony Carrion, Pease and Paulo Leal each had one.
The JV football team is still looking for their first win as they lost 33-0 to the Willows Honkers last Friday night. The Warriors will host Colusa this Friday, Oct. 27, on Senior Night for their last regular season home game.