WINFIELD - With both teams needing a win to get in the Class AAA playoff hunt, Winfield put on a furious rally from 21 points down Friday night to pull out a huge 27-21 overtime victory against Riverside in a tight battle of evenly matched teams.
The Generals (2-2), playing their first home game of the season, struck for three touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to send the game into overtime, where senior Seth Lewis ran in from the 2-yard line for the win before a large and vocal home crowd.
"Our goal is to achieve balance by both running the ball and passing the ball. And that will make us a better team,'' said first-year Generals coach Craig Snyder.
Winfield began the rally in the third quarter on a drive that had seven straight carries by Lewis, who finished with 240 yards on 34 carries.
The Generals got the ball back on the next series when Show found wide receiver John Hathaway on a 57-yard pass down the middle of the Warrior defense to bring them within a score at 21-14.
With 5:30 to play in the fourth quarter, Lewis broke free on a 34-yard run that included a very lucky fumble that bounced back into his arms as he was hit. The play kept the drive alive and with 1:29 to play, junior quarterback Toby Show ran in on a scramble that sent the game into overtime tied at 21.
"We faced a ton of adversity and left a ton of points on the field in the first half, but we kept coming back and coming back. Every week we become a better team and we certainly showed it tonight,'' Snyder said.
The Warriors (1-3) appeared to have scored on the first possession of the overtime when senior quarterback Trevor Rumberg found senior receiver Marcus Reed in the corner of the end zone. However, an offensive pass interference call negated the score, giving the Generals the chance to get the win on their own possession.
"We didn't do some things right and get the ball into the right people's hands. Toward the end, we just weren't ready to play and they scored the points they needed to win the ballgame,'' said Warrior coach Ralph Hensley.
At the outset, Riverside used two big scoring plays in the first quarter as Rumberg took the Warriors' first offensive scrimmage play around left end for a 73-yard touchdown.
After a Winfield three-and-out on its next possession, Rumberg connected with Reed on a 52-yard catch and run for a 14-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.
For Riverside, Rumberg carried 14 times for 101 yards.