Winona Christian football coach Ken Chandler has said all season that the Stars have had trouble stopping the run.
That didn’t change any on Friday night as rival Central Holmes ran for 419 yards and took a 49-21win over the Stars in a key district 2-3A matchup.
Winona Christian falls to 3-3 on the season and will take on Delta Streets this week.
Chandler said it was a familiar scene for his defense against the Trojans.
“We haven’t stopped the run all year long and they ran it all over us,” Chandler said. “It’s been a mystery to me as to why we can’t stop it and then you give them three or four extra possessions because of turnovers. They were good but not 28 points better than us. We would have had to play perfect to win but we made several mistakes and they didn’t make any. It was just one of those nights.”
The Trojans got the ball to start the game and put together a 13-play drive but missed a field goal while Winona Christian went three and out on its first drive.
Central Holmes then hit the big play as Lamarian Buchanan ripped off a 70-yard run and Dan Lindsey hit the PAT to give the Trojans a 7-0 lead with 2:23 left in the first quarter.
The Stars lost a fumble on the next series and John Ward scored three plays later on a 10-yard run. Lindsey’s PAT was good and the Trojans led 14-0 with .4 seconds left in the first quarter.
After the Stars turned the ball over on downs near midfield, the Trojans ground out a nine-play, 51-yard drive as Buchanan scored on a 19-yard run. Lindsey hit the PAT and the Trojans led 21-0.
After another three and out by Winona, the Trojans continued to pour it on as Ward scored on a 41-yard run. Lindsey hit the PAT and Central Holmes led 28-0.
Winona then scored its only TD of the first half as Brannon Hill hit Colin Parkinson on a 38-yard touchdown pass with 1:14 left in the first. The PAT was good to cut the score to 28-7.
But Central Holmes answered back as Ward returned the ensuing kick 70 yards for a touchdown and Lindsey hit the PAT for a 35-7 halftime lead.
“I thought their quarterback was the difference in the game,” Chandler said. “My quarterback hasn’t played a lot of football and it kind of showed. He struggled making some reads and looked like a kid who hasn’t played a lot of games. We knew the running back would get his yards, but he didn’t really force the issue.”
Winona got the ball to open the second half and got a good return, starting at the Central Holmes 28. But the Stars fumbled three plays to end. The Trojans made the Stars pay as Ward ripped off a 90-yard run, and Lindsey hit the PAT to give Central Holmes a 42-7 lead and get the clock running.
Winona then put together a nine-play drive as Hill hit Reese Johnson on a 10-yard pass to cap off a nine-play, 60-yard drive and cut the score to 42-14 with 1:01 left in the third.
Central Holmes last score came midway through the fourth when Sean Harrel scored on a 37-yard run to make the score 49-14.
Sam Thompson scored Winona Christian’s last TD on a 10-yard run.
The Stars had 118 yards passing and 108 yards rushing for 226 yards of total offense. Brannon Hill was 6-of-15 passing while Collin Parkinson had four catches for 95 yards. Sam Thompson had 60 yards rushing on five carries while Jake Ware had 27 yards rushing on eight carries.
This week’s game
The Stars will host Delta Streets this week in a non-division matchup of Class 3A teams.
The Lions are 1-5 on the season with their lone win being a 13-2 victory over Benton last week.
“They are a little better than they were last year,” Chandler said. “You have to make them pay when they make mistakes. You are going to get some bad snaps and things like that. They are going to break one and have some speed. We have to get back to some fundamental stuff. We have three games in a row that we will be OK with if we can fix a few things.”
Last year, Winona beat Delta Streets 56-28 in the regular season and 49-14 in the playoffs.