HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- In a game that could well define both teams' season, the difference ended up being a few flags, losing some gloves, and a towel.
Winfield seized control early but was undone by penalties while Spring Valley recovered from some crippling fumbling problems with a few clothing adjustments to turn a 14-6 halftime deficit into a 25-20 win over the Generals on homecoming night.
Both teams came into the game on the fringe of the Class AAA playoff chase and couldn't afford a loss on Friday.
The Timberwolves (4-2) put the ball on the ground four times and lost three of them in the first half but stormed out of the break to score 19 unanswered points in the third quarter and were able to hold off the Generals' late attempts at a rally.
Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess said some changes were made at halftime but they didn't concern X's and O's as much as what his stable of running backs were and weren't wearing on their hands.
"We made them take off their gloves," Dingess said. "And we didn't have a towel in the first half either. We just talked to them. We had some holes. I think we ran 18 plays for over 150 yards, so it wasn't that it was just us dropping the football."
Spring Valley showed signs of recovering even late in the first half as Colby Webb ripped off a 77-yard touchdown run with just over 21/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter to draw the Timberwolves within 7-6.
That was after Winfield's Chris Turner plunged into the end zone from 1-yard out to start the scoring earlier in the second frame.
But the Generals (2-3) weren't done as quarterback Toby Show engineered a five-play, 70-yard touchdown drive in under two minutes, culminating in a 13-yard touchdown pass to Alex Amick, pushing Winfield's lead to 14-6 at the break.
Show was efficient for the most part all evening, completing 24 of 36 passes for 195 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The Timberwolves (4-2) left their fumbling problems in the locker room for a large portion of the second half and the result was three straight touchdowns to seize a 25-14 lead after three quarters.
Dylan Lageman started the outburst with a 1-yard plunge to cap off a 69-yard drive to open the second half. After Winfield turned it over on downs, Adam Page finished a three-play Spring Valley drive with a 53-yard touchdown run on a jet sweep.