Cincy Winton Woods scores 22 unanswered
By Chris Miles
It was good old fashion slugfest when host Jonathan Alder went toe-to-toe with visiting Cincinnati Winton Woods Friday in a Week 6 showdown at Alder.
The visiting Warriors shook off a fourth-quarter deficit, scored 22-unanswered fourth-quarter points and delivered the knockout punch with a block punt that was returned for a touchdown in what turned into a 35-14 loss for the Pioneers.
“We continued to make mistakes and gave them chances — not knowing the plays, not knowing the assignments,” Alder coach Steve Coate said. “We had the opportunity to grab the game and we just threw it away.”
Clinging to a slight 14-13 lead and pinned deep in its own end, Alder turned to All-Ohio punter Nick Smith to give them some breathing room. But the Warriors punt block unit got a hand on the kick.
It bounded out toward the 20-yard line where Karon Poole scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown to give the visitors a 19-14 advantage. Nick Grissom broke a tackle and scooted into the end zone for a 2-point conversion and a 21-14 Warriors lead.
On the very next possession, Winton Woods forced Alder quarterback Andy Fooce into a throw that was intercepted by Daniel Cage and returned to the Pioneers’ 10-yard line. A few plays later, the Warriors punched it into the end zone with a Jalen Davis run and the lead ballooned to 28-14.
Things were so tight early in the fourth quarter, Winton Woods was forced to dig deep into its bag of tricks to find a way to score. Immediately after the Warriors had recovered an Alder fumble, they ran a deceptive play where quarterback Shemar Hooks to the snap from center and handed to Grissom.
The rest of the Warriors stood up as if the play was dead and the speedy Grissom raced 44 yards for a score, making it 14-13. The play worked so well Woods tried it again on the PAT but it failed, leaving the score 14-13.
What was frustrating for Coate was the fact that his assistant coaches were warning their players that the play might come, but the Pioneers were still taken by surprise.
“We did a lot of thing right, but you’ve got to finish the game and we didn’t do that,” the coach said. “Our coaches knew that play was coming and tried to tell them.”
Points were hard to come by early in the game as both defenses flexed their muscle. Winton Woods with its aggressive, blitzing attack had the Pioneers pinned deep in their own end for the game’s first 12 minutes.
The Alder defense rose to the occasion by boxing in the speedy Warriors dangerous option attack for most of the night. But as soon as things went downhill in the fourth quarter, they got out of hand quickly.
“This one is going to hurt all our players, all of our coaches because we had the opportunity to win this game and we let it get away,” Coate said.
Winton Woods opened the scoring by putting together a 7-play, 37 yard drive which was capped by a 9-yard scoring run by quarterback Shawn Hooks. The shifty quarterback took the snap, faked an option toss and eluded a pair of would-be Pioneer tacklers for the score.
Alder responded in a big way, Brad Miller returned the ensuing kickoff to the Pioneers 45-yard line, the team’s best starting position up to that point. The home team marched deep into Warriors territory thanks to a couple big plays and a few costly penalties by the Warriors.
Winton Woods was whistled for a personal foul, a pass interference penalty and a substitution infraction all on the drive. The substitution miscue occurred on a 3rd-and-5 where the Warriors sacked Fooce for what would’ve been a 4th and long, instead the penalty gave Alder a first down at the Warriors 6-yard line.
Two plays later Mason Will plowed in on a 3-yard run, Nick Smith booted the PAT and the game was tied at 7-7.
Alder jumped out on top late in the first half when Fooce went up top to Derritt Potts, who was lined up as a wide receiver, for a 56-yard scoring strike.