Winner High School football team scored the first two touchdowns of the homecoming game Friday night and were feeling pretty good about themselves. However, the undefeated Mount Vernon/Plankinton team played a strong second half to defeat the Warriors 30-28.
The Warriors at one point in the game led 28-6. However, in the second half, Winner only had six offensive plays.
“It was a tough loss,” said coach Dan Aaker. “It was the tale of two halves. We played a good first half.”
The Warriors scored right away in the game as Trevor Peters run 66 yards for a touchdown. Midway in the first quarter, Brady Fritz completed a 14 yard pass to Sam Kruger for a touchdown and Winner is up 14-0.
With 2:49 left in the first quarter, MVP scored on a Jesse Hastings 6 yard run.
A Winner touchdown right before the half with 16 seconds left was huge. Phillip Jorgensen scored on a 5 yard run.
At the half, Winner led 22-6
Then at the start of the third quarter, Jorgensen makes a huge play as a pass intended for Hastings is picked off by Jorgensen who turns it into a touchdown. Now, Winner is up 28-6 and feeling pretty good about themselves.
“I think we relaxed a bit, however MVP did not quit fighting. At that point they could have laid down but they fought us. When things got close we panicked and pressed ourselves,” said Aaker.
The WHS coach says he has to give MVP credit as they played well in the second half. “We could not stop them. They had 72 plays to our 39.”
The Titans had a huge drive, which started at their own 2-yard line, and capped off by a Hastings two yard run to tie the game at 28-28. Hastings made the two-point conversion to give them the lead 30-28.
The No 5 rated Warriors had one last effort. Trevor Peters completed a 50 yard pass to Brandon Volmer with 3:17 left in the game down to the MVP 24-yard line.
Winner worked the ball to the 11-yard line. Facing a fourth and seven with 1:29 left Hastings sacked QB Fritz.
The Warriors had a total of 243 yards of offense.
MVP had 21 first downs to Winner’s 10.
Leading rusher for Winner was Peters with 100 yards and Jorgensen added 40 yards.
On defense, Shea Connot had 16 tackles, Preston Norrid and Brandon Volmer, 11 each; Sam Kruger, 10 and Elijah Blare, 9.
The MVP coaching staff has a Winner area connection. Head coach Brent Olson is the brother of Winner assistant coaches Trent and Sam Olson. Also, MVP assistant coach Zach Harter is formerly of Colome.
The Warriors will travel to Chamberlain on Friday, Sept. 28. Aaker said the Cubs are big up front led by Nash Hutmacher.
“They are a concern because they are so big,” said the coach.
He noted the line of scrimmage is going to huge for Winner.
“We will take the positives from Friday’s game and put them into games as we move forward,” said Aaker.
As a side note, for the second year in a row, the WHS football team took residents from Winner Regional long term care center to the homecoming parade Friday afternoon.
“It is good for our kids to get out of their comfort zone and I am glad we do it,” said the coach.