The top ranked Round Valley Elks punished the previously undefeated Winslow Bulldogs 35-0 in a non-conference football game played in Eagar on Friday. The win was Round Valley's seventh without a loss and left Winslow with a still impressive 6-1 record for the season.
The Bulldogs showed a ton of character in battling hard to the very end of the bruising contest. Winslow drove to the shadow on the goal posts on their last possession. Senior running back Mark Armao was especially impressive, running for over 100 yards against a huge, gang-tackling Elks' defense. He was also a stalwart on defense.
The 'Dogs lost junior quarterback Art Gonzales on the final play of the first half as a pall fell over the domed stadium. The crowd watched in prayerful silence as medics worked over the fallen player. Gonzales drew cheers and lengthy applause as he waved to the crowd while leaving the field on a stretcher. Winslow suffered several injuries, but none as serious as the one to Gonzales. The Bulldogs also suffered several misfortunes on weird bounces and plays on the field.
Round Valley's defense managed to keep Winslow's offense at bay while their running back duo of Justin Crick and Chase Rogers each ran for over 100 yards.
The Bulldogs actually had the first scoring opportunity, driving deep into Elks' territory before having a 45 yard field goal attempt blocked. Round Valley then drove 65 yards and scored on a two yard run by Crick. Josh Taylor converted for a 7-0 lead with just 41 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Elks put together their most impressive drive of the game on their next possession, going 10 yards to score. Trevor Nicoll hit Jon Gillespie on a 34 yard scoring aerial to cap the drive with 5:47 left in the half. The conversion gave Round Valley a 14-0 advantage.
Just 15 seconds later, the Elks were in the end zone again. Jake Ray picked up an errant Winslow pass that was ruled a lateral and raced 18 yards to score. The conversion increased the lead to 21-0, which was the score at the intermission.
The Elks took the second half kickoff and drove 66 yards to score on a two yard run by Rogers. The conversion upped their lead to 28-0.
Rogers scored again on an eight yard run the next time the Elks touched the ball. The conversion kick was good and the 35-0 final score was on the board. The fourth quarter was scoreless.
Winslow will play the Tuba City Warriors at Tuba City on Thursday. The Warriors are likely the most formidable opponent the Bulldogs will face in 3A North Region competition.