The Winslow Bulldogs defeated the Tuba City Warriors 62-23 in a 3A North Region football game played in Tuba City on Friday. The win left the Bulldogs with a 3-1 record for the season and a 1-0 record in the region. Tuba City fell to 2-1 for the season and 0-1 in the region.
The Bulldogs showed a balanced offense with Orlando Vargas, Dillon DeWitt and Adrian Smith all running for significant yardage. There was more good news for Bulldog fans when it was learned the senior running back/linebacker Michael Zaitz was not injured as severely as first thought. The Peoria High transfer could return to the Winslow line up as early as Friday’s contest.
The Bulldogs drew first blood with a 64-yard, four-play drive that ate up over half of the first quarter. Adrian Smith capped the drive with an eight-yard run. Orlando Vargas added the conversion kick that gave Winslow a 7-0 lead with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
Less than a minute later, the Bulldogs were in the end zone again. Matt Oso intercepted a Warrior pass at the Tuba City 29 yard line to set up the score. Vargas made the turnover pay off with a 15-yard scoring run and added the conversion that gave the ‘Dogs a 14-0 lead with 4:30 left in the quarter.
The Warriors put together an 81-yard scoring drive of their own and cut the Winslow lead to a single touchdown. J. C. Cowboy ended the nine-play drive with a 12-yard run. Johnny Teller added the conversion that cut the lead to 14-7 as the first period came to an end.
Dillon DeWitt ran two yards for a touchdown with 6:38 left before intermission. The play completed a 47 yard, seven-play drive after Tuba City had lost the ball on downs at their own 47. Vargas converted to increase the Winslow lead to 21-7.
Smith scored his second touchdown of the night on a 28-yard run. Vargas booted the conversion to give the Bulldogs a 28-7 lead with 3:54 left in the half. The 40-yard drive started when Jordan Payne picked off a Tuba City pass.
Payne hit Carlos Quezada on a 62-yard pass with less than a minute left before intermission. Vargas converted for a 35-7 Winslow halftime lead.
Tuba City picked up the first points of the third period when Winslow covered a fumble in their own end zone for a safety after a 46-yard Warrior punt was downed at the Bulldogs one. The score cut Winslow’s margin to 35-9 early in the third quarter.
The Warriors got back in the game when Carlos Begay hit Devin Nez on a 24-yard scoring pass with 4:36 left in the third. The play followed a Winslow fumble at their own 26 yard line. Teller converted to close the gap to 35-16.
Vargas got those points back on the next play by returning the ensuing kickoff 80 yards. The conversion kick failed leaving the Bulldogs with a 41-16 lead with just over four minutes left in the quarter.
Smith scored his third touchdown of the game on a one-yard run with 10:30 left in the contest. Gilbert Romero booted the conversion for a 48-16 Winslow lead.
Vargas ran 64 yards with 6:45 left in the game. Romero converted and the Bulldogs led 55-16.
Oso got his second interception of the night and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown with 6:17 left. Romero’s conversion gave Winslow a 62-16 lead.
Cowboy scored his second touchdown of the game for Tuba City on a six-yard run with just over three minutes left. Teller converted to end the scoring at 62-23.
Winslow will be on the road again on Friday when they meet the Pinon Eagles at 6 p.m. The Eagles have never beaten the Bulldogs and have reported only one score in three games this season.
Pinon suffered a 50-6 loss to the 2A Williams Vikings in their season opener. The results of their second and last non-conference game with the 2A Sanders Valley Pirates was never reported. The Eagles opened league play against the Greyhills Academy Knights with that score also not reported.