The Winona Tigers didn’t play their best football game on Friday night against Yazoo County.
But they played “well-enough” to win.
The Tigers got four touchdowns from Jekeyvion Burnley and took a 41-36 win over Yazoo County on Friday night.
The Tigers are now 3-0 on the season and will travel to Water Valley on Friday night.
“I thought we played well-enough to win,” Tompkins said. “We gave up too many big plays and missed too many tackles. They scored on the first play of the game because we missed a tackle. You aren’t going to do well on defense if you are missing a lot of tackles. But we were able to play well enough on offense that we kept them off balance and basically outscored them."
It was a back-and-forth contest in the first half. The Panthers got on the board first as they hit a 69-yard pass play. The PAT failed and Yazoo led 6-0.
The Tigers responded as Jekeyvion Burnley scored on a 14-yard touchdown run. Noah Durham booted the PAT and Winona held a 7-6.
But the lead didn’t last long as Yazoo scored on a 9-yard touchdown pass. But the PAT failed again and Yazoo led 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Tigers once again responded as Burnley scored on a 21-yard run, and Durham kicked the PAT for a 14-12 Winona lead.
The Panthers hit the ground for their third scored as they scored on a 47-yard run. They got the two-point conversion and led 20-14.
The Tigers took the lead back before the half as Deriaun Townsend scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass. Durham kicked the PAT and Winona held a 21-20 lead at the half.
The Tigers started to extend their lead in the third quarter when Burnley hit Robert McMatch on a 68-yard pass play. The Tigers scored the two-point conversion and Winona led 27-20.
“Our quarterback is playing really, really well right now,” Tompkins said. “I’m not saying that I wasn’t expecting him to play well, but he’s playing a lot better than I thought he would at this point. He didn’t just didn’t have any experience from last year. And we are running the ball better than I anticipated. When we ask him to run it, he is doing a good job. He is getting positive yards for us and doing a good job for us right now.”
After a Yazoo County safety to cut the lead to 27-22, Winona extended the lead as Burnley scored on a 7-yard run. Durham’s kick gave Winona a 34-22 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers cut it to four points as they scored on a 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter to make the score 34-30 with the two-point conversion.
But Burnley put the Tigers back on top for good as Burnley scored his fourth touchdown of the night on an 11-yard run. Durham booted the PAT and the Tigers led
“They never really consistently stopped us but one time on offense,” Tompkins said. “We were able to stay balanced on offense and keep them off balance. We were able to run the ball and that was the key. That set up the pass and everything is a whole lot better.”
Yazoo added a late score on a. 9-yard pass but failed to convert the two-point try to make the final score of 41-36.
The Tigers had 474 yards of total offense and rushed for 327 yards. Burnley had a big night with 147 yards passing on 11-of-18 attempts while he rushed for 124 yards and four TDs on 15 attempts. Townsend led all rushers with 155 yards on 21 carries. Danarius Robinson also had 43 yards on six carries. McMath had 87 yards receiving on four catches while Dadarian Small had 55 yards on six catches.
On defense, Khristian Williams and Fred Clark each had 11 tackles apiece. Javien. Jackson had six tackles and three for loss while Small, Marionzo Small, Toi Allen, Eric Boone and Ja’Mes Bays each had four tackles apiece.
The Tigers hit the road this week as they travel to Water Valley to take on the 1-1 Blue Devils.
Water Valley opened with a 45-0 win over Bruce and then lost 40-21 to Calhoun City last week.
“They are a sound football team -- always are,” Tompkins said. “They will be one of the best coached teams that we play all year. They are young but so are we. It’s always a good game between us. We have to go over there, and it’s always a tough place to play. They are a young team but sound in what they do. We will have our hands full, that’s for sure. They are just two years away from playing for the state championship.”
Last year, Winona won 54-35.