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Turner leads Winfield victory

Winfield junior Chris Turner rained on Nitro's Senior Night.

Turner accounted for four touchdowns to lead visiting Winfield past the Wildcats 35-14 Friday night. A sparse crowd of about 500 attended the Class AAA Mountain State Athletic Conference matchup as light rain fell at Underwood Field in Nitro.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Turner, whose first three catches went for scores, kick-started the Generals (3-5) in the opening quarter with a one-handed 31-yard catch-and-run for a TD, then returned an interception 57 yards for a score and a 13-0 lead.

In the second half, Turner turned in a 17-yard TD reception in the third quarter to give Winfield a 21-7 advantage and added a 24-yard scoring catch in the fourth period as the Generals put the game away.

"[Winfield quarterback] Toby [Show] just put [the ball] where it needed to be and our line blocked and everything was made easy tonight,'' said Turner. "There's not much more I can say. We got one [touchdown] called back early so I had to make up for that.

"I always feel like I'm going to have a good night, but it's more important for the team to have a good night. Any way I can try and help, I just try to help. Anybody who scores or does anything good, that's fine with me. It doesn't have to be me.''

Turner finished with four catches for 76 yards and three scores and an interception return for a TD.

"Chris has improved a lot,'' said Winfield first-year coach Craig Snyder. "He's a tough matchup because he's big. He's tough to tackle one-on-one.''

Show, a 6-2, 175-pound junior, completed only 6 of 18 passes for 99 yards with three interceptions, but three of his completions went to Turner for TDs.

Show was left lying motionless on the field in the second quarter after getting laid out on a block during Nitro senior Ethan Clark's 65-yard interception return for a score and didn't come back for the Generals' final series right before halftime. Show returned for the first series of the third quarter, however, and played the entire second half.

Winfield senior running back Seth Lewis gained 202 yards on 31 carries.

The Generals' defense registered five sacks for minus-54 yards, forced three turnovers and accounted for 14 points on two interception returns and a sack for a safety. Winfield also stymied Nitro's offense, which generated just 95 total yards.

"The first half was a little ugly with the turnovers,'' said Snyder, who saw his team throw three picks in the opening half.

"Once we took care of [the turnovers], we kind of forced our will on [Nitro]. We tried to put our athletes in some different positions that we hadn't been doing and they did a good job. I liked the results.''

Nitro (2-6) showed some life when Clark returned the pick for a score to close the deficit to 15-7 right before halftime.

The Wildcats then pulled within 21-14 early in the fourth quarter on quarterback Chris Moody's 5-yard scoring toss to wideout Nick Humphrey, but they allowed Turner's fourth TD catch followed by Winfield junior defensive back Alex Amick's 30-yard pick six.

"We didn't get closer tonight,'' said Nitro first-year coach Derek Midkiff. "We came out flat as can be. We couldn't recover in the second half. Winfield's fighting and improving. We've improved over the year but tonight, we took a step back. We were doing little things that we haven't done wrong all year. That bit us.''

Moody finished 12 for 29 for 90 yards with a TD and two picks while Clark turned in seven receptions for 59 yards. Nitro running back Brayden Underwood had 48 yards on 17 attempts.

Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkinson@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.

 


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