WINFIELD - With their season winding down, the much-improved Winfield Generals come a step closer to a break-even record by gaining a hard-earned 34-25 win over St. Albans Friday night.
The Generals (4-5) relied on the punishing runs of senior Seth Lewis, who carried 38 times for 312 yards to help his team overcome a 19-14 halftime deficit.
"Our game plan was to run the ball. They kept giving us the numbers and so we continued to run the ball in the second half," said Winfield coach Craig Snyder. "We had to do some things defensively in the second half to stop their backs, who were bigger than any of our linemen. Of course, they were without their top rusher [Drew] Kirby, which helped us some."
St. Albans (2-8) was playing its last game of the season. The Red Dragons, coming off a win last week over Lincoln County, played even with the Generals but could not come up with the defensive stops needed to slow down Lewis in the second half.
"The line blocked well just like last week. I didn't realize I had that many yards," said Lewis.
"He just ran over us. We couldn't stop him," said Red Dragons coach Steve Stoffel Jr. "We were down a little bit and had to make some adjustments on short notice when Kirby when down on Wednesday. We tried to throw in a few wrinkles, but we just weren't prepared and that's my fault.''
The Generals balanced out their relentless power running game with 179 passing yards from quarterback Toby Show, who completed 21 of 34 passes, hitting six different receivers.
The SA defense scored the game's opening tally when junior Eric McDaniels fell on a blocked Winfield punt in the end zone halfway through the first quarter, helping his team to an 8-0 lead.
The teams traded scores before a key interception by St. Albans' Kevin Cantley was returned to the General 1-yard line with 5:40 to play before the half. Michael Cain carried it in to give the Red Dragons a 19-7 lead.
The Generals came out storming in the second half, with Lewis taking nearly every handoff and also catching screen passes that gained huge chunks of yardage. Show also contributed with an effective passing game that kept the Dragons off balance defensively.
"We had some ups and downs this season, but we're going to get there. We're going to turn it around," Stoffel said.
The Generals came into the game with a remote shot at a Class AAA playoff spot and, if the reconfigured ratings next week say they're still alive, they'll need a win in their final regular-season game at home against Spring Valley.