The last three years that Winona Christian and Indianola have played, the Colonels have run the clock on the Stars.
But that wasn’t the case on Friday night as the Stars beat the Colonels 25-15 to stay unbeaten on the season. The Stars improve to 5-0 on the year and will travel to Newton County Academy this week.
With the win, the Stars improve to 3-0 in district play and beat the Colonels for the first time.
“It was good for them to not run the clock on us in the second half,” WCS Coach Junior Graham said. “The last three years, they started running the clock on us in the second half. So it was a big win for our kids and our program. The game exposed some areas that we have to work on really hard this next couple of weeks. It’s a good sign when you don’t play your best and still come out with the win. That’s always good.”
The Stars got on the board late in the first quarter when John White hit Choyce Diffey on a 7-yard touchdown pass to cap off an eight-play, 80-yard drive. The PAT failed and Winona led 6-0.
After an Indianola punt, the stars got right back in the action as Dalton Wiggins scored on a 6-yard touchdown run to cap off a six-play, 54-yard drive on the second play of the second quarter. The PAT failed and Winona led 12-0.
“I thought our leverage defenders played really well,” Graham said. “Thomas Costilow and Latham Hill were at the ends, Ben and Bradley Pinkard and Reed Roberts did a good job of leveraging their offense. And Hayden Self reaped the benefits with 11 tackles. I thought our defense was solid for the most part.”
The Colonels got on the board with a 35-yard field goal to make the score 12-3.
Diffey put the Stars in good field position as he returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards to the Indianola 15. Dalton Wiggins then ran the first play 15 yards for a touchdown. Diffey booted the PAT and Winona led 19-3.
Indianola responded with a six-play, 40-yard drive and scored on a 35-yard pass to make the score 19-9.
Winona answered right back as they went 59 yards in 10 plays as Wiggins scored on a 1-yard run. The PAT failed and Winona led 25-9. Indianola added a late 11-yard touchdown pass to make it 25-15.
Winona had 182 yards rushing as Wiggins had 121 yards on 21 carries while Costilow had 92 yards on 12 carries. John White was 11-of-21 passing for 205 yards. Diffey had four catches for 87 yards while Wiggins had four catches for 68 yards.
“We did what we needed to do on offense,” Graham said. “We were pretty balanced attack. We had almost 200 yards rushing and 205 yards passing. We had a lot of missed assignments and as the season progresses and people start giving you different looks, we have to clean that stuff up. We have to work hard on Winona for the next couple of weeks.”
On defense, Diffey had a huge game as he pulled down four interceptions and had five tackles. Self led the defense with 11 tackles while Ben Pinkard, Bradley Pinkard and Latham Hill each had eight tackles apiece. Reed Roberts also had an interception “I have been doing this for 32 year and Dicenzo Miller was the best one I have every coached but he never did what Choyce did on Friday night. He had four interceptions and four good returns. He did a good job of patrolling the middle of the field. He played a complete game at that position. He caught eight passes, four of ours and four of theirs.”