HURRICANE - On a night where new coaches and new beginnings were unveiled for both teams, Hurricane overpowered Winfield 44-7 in an opening-game battle of Putnam County rivals before a near-capacity crowd at Redskin Stadium.
The Redskins showed midseason form in the passing game, as junior quarterback Austin Hensley completed 21 of 33 tosses for 309 yards. His primary target was junior Koi Turner, who continuously made diving catches for 147 yards on 10 receptions.
The Generals defense bottled up Redskin tailback Zach Pate for most of the night until he broke loose on a 98-yard scamper in the fourth quarter after the Redskin defense made a goal-line stand, holding the Generals offense on four plays from the 8-yard line.
"Zach is our home-run hitter and the more chances he gets, the better chance he has of breaking one," said Hurricane coach Jeremy Taylor.
Taylor, taking over for Willis May and leading last season's Class AAA quarterfinalist, liked his new passing combination.
"Our quarterback and receiver were hooked up until they started double-teaming Koi late in the first half," Taylor said.
The Redskins scoring started on Winfield's opening drive when the General punt snap sailed out of the back of the end zone for a safety. From there, the Redskin offense used a combination of short screen passes and long balls to keep the Winfield defense off balance.
For the Generals, senior Seth Lewis carried 24 times for 100 yards against a rebuilt Redskin defensive line.
The Generals were held scoreless until the final 2:28, when T.C. Kester intercepted a Hensley pass and took it down the sidelines for a 40-yard interception return touchdown.
Both teams exhibited changes in their game plans and style of play from last season as Hurricane never slowed down and pressured Winfield junior quarterback Toby Show all night.
Following the game, first-year Winfield coach Craig Snyder was unavailable for comment after the game.