The Winslow Bulldogs gave their Homecoming crowd something to celebrate with a 21-17 victory over the top-ranked Round Valley Elks on Friday. The win left the Bulldogs with a 6-1 record for the season and dropped the Elks to 5-2 for the year. Both teams are undefeated in their respective regions.
The Bulldogs defense dominated the Elks the entire contest but two offensive errors led the Round Valley touchdowns and put the outcome in doubt. The Elks led most of the game despite being held in check by the stout Winslow defense.
Mark Armao scored the winning touchdown on a two yard run with 3:16 left in the game and erased a 17-14 lead Round Valley had enjoyed until Josh Stago intercepted a pass at the Elks 11 to set up the touchdown.
The game started as a defensive struggle with neither team able to get on the scoreboard in the first period. The Elks broke the ice on a 45 yard field goal by Travis Trickey and Round Valley led 3-0 with 10:25 left until intermission.
Winslow struck back on a five yard run by Jordan Payne. Kyle Holland converted for a 7-3 Winslow lead with 8:12 remaining in the half. Payne set up the score with a 70 yard scamper to the Elks 11 on one of the few offensive successes for either team in the first half.
Round Valley regained the lead on a nine yard pass form Trevor Nicoli to Tyson Peterson with just 1:26 left in the half. A series of bad breaks put the Bulldogs in the hole, the last being a bad snap on a punt that gave the Elks the ball on downs at the Winslow eight. That play was preceded by an offensive pass interference call that moved the Bulldogs to within the shadow of their goal line. Trickey's conversion sent the Elks into the half time celebration with a 10-7 lead.
The Elks got a huge break to start the third quarter. Chase Rogers swiped the ball from a Winslow runner and raced 95 yards to pay dirt. Trickey's kick gave Round Valley a 17-7 lead with 10:28 to go in the quarter. The Bulldogs had seemed poised to take the lead when the theft occurred.
Winslow had several scoring threats blunted as Nick Anderson appeared to score but was ruled out of bounds on the Round Valley six and again at the one.
Payne finally scored on a five yard run with 5:37 left in the game. Holland converted to cut the Round Valley lead to 17-14.
The Elks were pinned deep in their territory when Stago intercepted the pass that set up Armao's game winning run.
The Bulldogs will remain at home on Friday when they entertain the Tuba City Warriors in an important 3A North Region game. The Warriors crushed Monument Valley 51-6 to remain undefeated at 4-0 in the region. Tuba City is 5-2 for the season. The winner of Friday's game will have a leg up on a regional championship.