By Sam Conner
The Winslow Bulldogs nipped the Round Valley Elks 21-19 in a hard fought football game played in Eagar last Friday night. The win improved Winslow’s record to 2-1 for the season and dropped Round Valley’s to an equal 2-1.
The game was closely played and not decided until the final minutes. Penalties played a significant role, but did not decide the outcome.
Kelly Wood returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Winslow lead after Rodney Davis booted the conversion.
Round Valley tied the score at 7-7 midway through the first period on a three-yard run by Brodee Bell. Kyle Williams booted the conversion. The first quarter ended with the teams still deadlocked 7-7.
Winslow drove 80 yards for the only score of the second quarter. James Martinez scored on a quarterback sneak from a yard out with just a minute and 20 seconds left in the half. Davis made the conversion for a 14-7 Winslow halftime lead.
The Bulldogs drove 78 yards for the only score of the third quarter on a six-yard pass from Martinez to Henry Montiel with 7:45 left in the period. Davis converted to increase the lead to 21-7, which was the score entering the final period.
Early in the fourth quarter Round Valley cut the lead to a touchdown when Nate Gutierrez scored on a five-yard run. The conversion failed, leaving the Bulldogs with an eight-point, 21-13 lead.
The Elks closed the margin to 21-19 when Bell picked up a fumble and ran 32 yards for the touchdown. Round Valley’s two-point conversion pass was intercepted by Montiel, allowing the Bulldogs to escape with a 21-19 victory although there was still over seven minutes left to play.
The Winslow defense stopped Round Valley’s final assault with less than two minutes remaining and ran out the clock for the win.
The Bulldogs will face a tough test on Friday, Sept. 20, when they journey to Snowflake to meet the 3-0 Lobos in another game with playoff implications. Snowflake is coming off an important 28-23 win over the Seton Catholic Sentinels in Chandler. The Lobos previously defeated the Mingus Marauders, 36-21, and the Estrella Foothills Wolves, 42-21.
By Sam Conner