The Winona High School Tigers brought home a big win last Friday night as they defeated Calhoun City 31-20.
The Tigers, now 6-3 for the season and 2-1 in division play, may have come into the match as the underdog to the defending state champion Wildcats, but Head Coach Joey Tompkins said he knew his Tigers were contenders.
“Maybe to everyone else it was an upset,” Tompkins said. “It wasn’t to our players and coaches.”
Calhoun City was 6-1 coming into the game against Winona, losing only to 3-A Houston High School. However, the Tigers were one step ahead of the Wildcats throughout Friday’s contest, scoring early in the first quarter and keeping the momentum throughout the game.
“The difference in the game was the offensive line and the defensive line,” Tompkins said. “They controlled the game, and I thought that was the reason for our success.”
On offense, quarterback JaTyler Moore was 13 of 21 passing with 164 yards and one touchdown. On the ground, Moore ran for 90 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
Junior running back D. J. Ringo also had a stellar game with 99 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. Receiving, junior wide receiver Jay Lofton pulled in 78 yards and a touchdown.
Tompkins said defensively, junior outside linebacker Jalen Campbell had a great game with 10 tackles and a sack. Junior Garrett Ables had seven tackles, and Kaleb Hicks had five.
Tompkins said the defense played well and only gave up one big play, a 76 yard run in the third quarter.
Friday, the Tigers will host the East Webster Wolverines, also 5-3, for their final game of the regular season. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“If we win the game, there is a chance that we can still win the division,” Tompkins said.
Tompkins said the division title also rides on Calhoun City defeating Leflore County this week, however, he said his Tigers are going to focus their energy on their own battle.
“All we can do is go out and play our game,” Tompkins said.
Friday night is also Senior Night, with the team’s six seniors recognized prior to the game.