An early season clash of district contenders turned into a blowout.
Winona Christian racked up 501 yards of total offense and scored 27 unanswered points in the second half to run away with a 53-19 win on Friday night.
With the win, Winona improves to 3-0 on the season while Central Holmes falls to 2-2 on the year. The Stars will travel to Benton (2-2) for another district contest this week, while the Trojans will host league foe Indianola (1-2).
Veteran Winona Christian School Coach Junior Graham was pleased all around with his team’s effort on Friday night.
“It was a total team effort,” Graham said. “I was proud of our offensive and defensive lines for holding up against the massive size they have. We had some guys that don’t get a lot of snaps that came in the game and got a lot of snaps for us in the second quarter. I think that paid off for us before the game was over. We seemed a lot fresher. If we have ever had a team win in my time at Winona, that was it.”
The Stars got on the board first as Dalton Wiggins hauled in a 15-yard pass John White. The PAT attempt failed and Winona led 6-0.
After a Central Holmes punt, the Trojans got on the scoreboard with an interception return by Owen O’Bryant. The kick failed to tie the game at 6-6.
Winona answered right back as Wiggins hauled in a 57-yard touchdown pass from White. The run failed and the Stars led 12-6.
Central Holmes answered right back as they scored on a 4-yard run by Wykece Johnson. The kick failed and the score stayed tied at 12-12.
But that’s where Winona put its foot on the gas as Thomas Costilow scored on a 1-yard run and Wiggins ran in the two-point conversion to give the Stars a 20-12 lead.
The Stars tacked on another touchdown in the second quarter as White hit Choyce Diffey on a 42-yard pass. The try for two failed and Winona led 26-12 at the half.
“They sold out to stop the run and by doing so they loaded the box so we had to throw the ball early on,” Graham said. “We made some good passes and made plays after they caught it. That was the difference in the game and we had a few more numbers than they did. It was a good win for us.”
The Trojans got some life as they returned the opening kick of the second half for a touchdown and booted the PAT to cut the lead to 26-19.
“We had several injuries that really hurt us,” Central Holmes coach Jim Crowder said. “At one point, we were down five players. You just can’t lose that many starters and expect to beat a good team like Winona. They have a really good football team and took advantage of what we were giving them. But the bottom line is we have to be better and get some people healthy.”
After the kick return, the Stars reeled off four straight scores to put the game away.
The first score was a 52-yard run by Costilow and then Wiggins scored on a 22-yard run as the Stars led 39-19. Diffey then hauled in a 10-yard pass and booted the PAT as the Stars led 46-19 at the end of the third. The Stars finished the night off as White hit Diffey on a 96-yard touchdown pass. Reed Roberts booted the PAT for the final points.
The Stars had 501 yards of total offense as White was 7-of-10 passing for 267 yards and five TDs. Diffey had 148 yards receiving on three catches while Wiggins had 84 yards on three carries.
The Stars had 234 yards rushing on 30 carries as Costilow had 146 yards on 14 carries. Wiggins had 88 yards on 12 carries.
On defense, Ben Pinkard led the way with 12 tackles while Hayden Self had 10 stops. Diffey also had an interception.