Winston County Dominates

Dan Hogan was very concerned leading up to the biggest game of his young teams' season, and rightfully so with Caleb Massey leading the Blue Devil offense. Massey isn't alone, as he is surrounded by playmakers at the skill positions, but on this night defense would rule the evening.

The Winston County Yellow Jackets were ranked at number 10 in the latest ASWA poll, and number eight in Coaches' Poll leading up to their contest with the Sulligent Blue Devils. They might have earned their ranking tonight.

The game started with Sulligent receiving the ball, as Coach Dan Hogan elected to defer to the second half. Something Hogan doesn't often do as he likes to set the tone of the game with his offense.

The Yellow Jacket defense swarmed to the ball in the first series, and quickly forced Sulligent to a three-and-out. The Yellow Jackets took over deep inside their own territory, and proceeded to march the ball down the field for the first score of the night. The PAT was no good, and the Jackets were up 6-0 with most of the first quarter past.

The ensuing kickoff was more of the same, with Sulligent forced to punt the ball back to Winston County.

The Yellow Jackets went on another time consuming drive with Josh Johnson banging out five to 10 tough yards per carry. The end result was another Josh Johnson touchdown, with 3:41 left to play in the first half. Johnson also added the two-point conversion to make the score 14-0.

The Blue Devils tried to get back in the game, as Steven Stewart returned the kickoff to the Blue Devil 44-yard line.

Caleb Massey completed two passes for 21 and 19 yards. After the Yellow Jacket defense stiffened Massey was intercepted in the end zone to end the scoring threat, and the first half.

Josh Johnson finished the first half with 95 yard rushing, two touchdowns, and a two-point conversion.

The second half started much like the first half ended, as Winston County received the kickoff and marched 80-yards for their third touchdown of the evening.

Winston County signal caller, Justin South made several key plays to keep the drive alive, picking up a fourth down and three, and a third down and three. Both came rushing behind the big offensive line of the Jackets.

South capped the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run right behind center. Jared Courington made good on the Pat, and the Yellow Jackets led 21-0, with 5:07 left in the third quarter.

The Blue Devils did not roll over, as they took only 1:21, and four plays to reach the end zone. Most of the work came from Caleb Massey passes to Steven Stewart, and Robert White.

Massey finished the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run at right end to cut the lead to 21-6. The PAT was true, and the game stood at 21-7.

The Blue Devils would not get any closer, as Winston County continued their dominance at the line-of-scrimmage, and pushed the score back to a 21-point lead. Another long, methodical drive ended with another Justin South touchdown run from eight yards out. Courington added the PAT, and the score was, Winston County 28, Sulligent 7.

Sulligent showed heart as they scored with a little less than four minutes left in the game. Massey would once again lead the Blue Devils offense as he connected on passes of 24, 12, 20, 5, and a 10-yard touchdown pass to Robert White. The Devils had cut the lead to 28-13 after a failed PAT.

The Yellow Jackets ripped off big runs once again, and moved the ball inside the Blue Devils 15-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.

Massey and the Sulligent offense took possession with just less than two minutes to play in the game. On second down Kyle Harten stepped in front of a Massey pass attempt at the 13-yard line. Harten returned the ball to the Sulligent six, with just less than a minute to play in the game. Winston County got in the victory formation to kneel down the rest of the way.

While Sulligent played with a winners mentality, Winston County dominated the game up front at both lines-of-scrimmage. The Winston County defense smothered the Sulligent offense for most of the game. The Jackets gave the Blue Devils nothing. Everything the Blue Devils got, they earned the hard way.

Many players stood out in this game.

The Winston County defense:
Tyler Marks and Kollin Ergle combined for three sacks in the first half, while Cody Knight and other Jacket defenders applied constant pressure on Caleb Massey. Massey never had time to set his feet to make a throw.

Defensive Line:
It's hard to choose just one, so I'll take my hat off to the entire Winston County front seven.

Outside linebackers Tyler Marks and Kollin Ergle, were a concern heading into the game. Coach Hogan said they would get their "first real test of the season." They passed with flying colors, as Marks turned in six tackles, two sacks and one tackle for a loss. Ergle had five tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss.

Justin South had an interception, and Kyle Harten added one interception from his linebacker position. Jaice Hampton had two pass break ups, and one moster hit on a wide receiver, which he is becoming well known for.

Cody Knight had a half-sack, and four quarterback pressures, as the Jacket defense was relentless in their attempt to get to Caleb Massey.

We caught up to Winston County defensive coordinator, Phillip Keefe, after the game. He shared his thoughts on his team's defensive performance.

"This is my fourth year to coach at Winston County, and it's the first game we have played well for four quarters," he told

"We didn't give them anything tonight. What Sulligent got, they earned it. The entire defensive unit played well tonight."

The Winston County offensive line led by Cody Knight, Dillion Lowman, Brandon Mooneyham, and others, were the dominate force behind the long, time consuming drives that kept the ball away from Caleb Massey and a host of talented Blue Devil playmakers.

Josh Johnson led all rushers with 167-yards on 32 carries, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion.

Josh Kelley rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries. He also picked up several key first downs on the evening.

Justin South scored two touchdowns in the second half. He rushed for 35-yards in the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets rushed for 308 yards and four touchdowns, unofficially.

Caleb Massey showed his grit by bringing his team back in the second half leading them to two touchdowns. Massey passed for 140 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the second half. He was sacked three times, and intercepted twice on the evening. Massey also played well on defense with a pass break up and seven solo tackles. also caught up to Coach Dwight Bowling of the Sulligent Blue Devils right after the game.

"Give Winston County credit. They played a good game, but we played about as badly as we've played in a long time. They did what they needed to do to win, and we just didn't do much," a disheartened Bowling stated.

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