By Sam Conner
The Winslow Bulldogs’ season ended with a 27-20 loss to the Seton Catholic Sentinels on Seton Catholic’s home field in the quarterfinals of the Division IV Arizona State Football Playoffs. The loss ended Winslow’s season with an 8-4 record. Seton Catholic advanced to the semifinals with an 11-1 record.
The game was hard fought and was not decided until the final seconds. Seton Catholic used an excellent passing attack. Kyle Johnson completed 18 of 24 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns.
Kelly Wood also had a sensational night, running for 312 yards on 40 carries to lead the Winslow offense and score all three Bulldog touchdowns.
Seton Catholic drove 80 yards in 13 plays and scored on a fourth down, one-yard run by Antonio Campanella on its first possession. The conversion failed and the Sentinels led 6-0 with just seconds left in the first quarter.
Winslow tied the score on a two-yard run by Wood with 8:40 left in the first half. The extra point kick was blocked, leaving the score tied at 6-6. The Bulldogs drove 66 yards for the score.
The Sentinels regained the lead on a 15-yard pass from Johnson to George Wolter. Johnson then converted to give Seton Catholic a 13-6 edge.
Wood scored his second touchdown of the game on a 30-yard run to complete a 92-yard drive with just 2:40 left in the half. Nick Thomas converted to tie the score at 13-13, which was the score at the intermission.
Seton Catholic scored quickly at the start of the second half on a 63-yard pass from Johnson to Niko Villegas. Johnson converted to give the Sentinels a 20-13 lead less than two minutes into the second half.
The Sentinels scored the second time they had the ball in the half on a five-yard pass from Johnson to Brandon Garcia. Johnson’s conversion increased the Seton Catholic lead to 27-13 with 6:22 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs drove into scoring position, but surrendered the ball on downs at the Sentinel nine yard line. The third quarter ended with Seton Catholic still leading 27-13.
Wood scored for the third time in the game for Winslow on a 15-yard run. Thomas converted to cut the Seton Catholic lead to 27-20 with just under eight minutes left to play. The Bulldogs threatened in the closing minutes, but came up short as the Sentinels intercepted a fourth down pass on their five yard line with time for just one more play.
Seton Catholic will play River Valley on Saturday, Nov. 23, at a site to be determined. River Valley upset Snowflake 28-14 to earn its berth in the semifinals. Blue Ridge defeated Coolidge 49-0 at Lakeside to advance to the semifinals against Show Low, a 64-20 winner over Safford in Show Low. That game will be played on Saturday in Snowflake.
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By Sam Conner