By Sam Conner
The Estrella Foothills Wolves defeated the Winslow Bulldogs 42-27 on their home turf last Friday night in an important Division IV football game. The win improved Estella Foothills’ record to 3-2 for the season and dropped Winslow’s to 2-3. It was the third win in a row for the Wolves after two season opening losses.
The Bulldogs were still without the services of Henry Montiel and hampered by injuries. Seven turnovers played a huge part in the loss.
Winslow scored first on a 28-yard run by Kelly Wood to complete an 84-yard drive. Rodney Davis converted to give Winslow a 7-0 lead.
That lead was short lived, though, as Mason Benfield broke free on a 65-yard run to put the teams in a 7-7 tie after Andres Martinez booted the conversion.
Near the end of the first quarter Benfield scored again on a 10-yard pass from Jared Fleming. The conversion gave the Wolves a 14-7 lead after the first period of play.
The Wolves scored the only points of the second quarter on a Fleming pass to Michael Bower. The conversion failed and Estrella Foothills led 20-7 at the half.
The Bulldogs came back strong in the third quarter and cut Estrella Foothills’ lead to 20-14 when Jace Hardy scored on a six-yard run and Davis converted. Later in that quarter Wood scored on a 10-yard run, but this time the conversion failed and the teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 20-20.
Estrella Foothills regained the lead early in the final period when Joe Logan scored on a 13-yard run. A two-point conversion pass from Fleming to Benfield gave the Wolves a 28-20 advantage.
Logan sprinted 70 yards to increase the lead for the Wolves and Martinez converted to put them ahead 35-20.
Fleming scored on a one-yard quarterback keeper and the conversion increased the lead to 42-20 for the Wolves.
Winslow put the final points on the scoreboard on a six-yard pass from James Martinez to Demetrius Gamez. Davis converted to make the final score 42-27 in favor of Estrella Foothills.
The results left the Wolves in a good playoff position, as their only losses were to defending state champion Seton Catholic and a tough Snowflake Lobo squad.
Winslow will host the Window Rock Scouts tonight (Oct. 4) at Emil Nasser Stadium. The Scouts are 3-1, but their victories have been against relatively smaller and weaker teams (Rough Rock, Rock Point, Thoreau, N.M., and Valley Sanders), while their loss was 44-6 to Holbrook, a team Winslow handled earlier in the season.
The Bulldogs will need to play well the rest of the season and should still make the playoffs if they can win the rest of their games. The loss to Estrella may have cost them a home playoff game, but probably left them in contention for a playoff berth.
By Sam Conner