CHINLE, Ariz. - The Winslow Bulldogs defeated the Chinle Wildcats 54-0 in a 3A North Region football game played in Chinle on Friday. The win left the Bulldogs undefeated at 3-0 in the region and improved their record for the season to 3-2. Chinle fell to 3-2 for the season and suffered their first loss in their only regional contest to give them a 0-1 regional record.
The Bulldogs got the only score of the first quarter on a 32-yard punt return by Wendell Carter midway through the period. The conversion failed and Winslow led 6-0 after the quarter ended. The Bulldogs had missed a golden scoring opportunity just prior to Carter's touchdown when they had a first and goal at the Chinle five-yard line, but the Wildcats held and took over on downs. The Winslow defense held and set up the scoring punt return.
James Martinez passed 17 yards to Payton Zufelt early in the second quarter and Carter ran for the two point conversion for a 14-0 Winslow lead. Freshman Martinez was starting his first varsity game at quarterback and Zufelt had moved from that position to the receiver slot he had played last season. Zufelt did see action later as quarterback in the first half.
After a brilliant 64-yard punt return gave the Wildcats a first down at the Winslow 25, Jevon Estelle picked up a Wildcat fumble and raced 75 yards to score. Josh Cirre converted for a 21-0 Bulldogs lead. After this score an inadvertent whistle on a play that appeared to be a fumble recovered in or near the Chinle end zone for either a safety or a touchdown brought the ball back to midfield. Winslow lined up to punt again and when the ball was snapped over punter Bubba Cuellar's head, he ran for an apparent touchdown, which was also negated by a penalty.
Martinez scored on an 18-yard run on fourth down late in the quarter. Cirre converted to increase the lead to 28-0. That was still the score at the end of the first half.
Martinez figured in the scoring of Winslow's two touchdowns in the third quarter. He passed 17 yards to Tyler Williams for the first touchdown of the period and ran a yard for the other score after hitting Bubba Cuellar at the one on a 42-yard pass. Cirre converted both times for a 42-0 lead after three quarters of play.
Carter scored early in the fourth period on a 24 yard run. The conversion was wide and Winslow led 48-0 with most of the quarter left to play. Fortunately, most of the quarter was played with a running clock due to the large lead.
The last score came on the final play of the game when freshman Henry Montiel intercepted a Chinle pass and raced 95 yards to score. There was no conversion leaving the Bulldogs with a 54-0 victory.
The Bulldogs will meet the Holbrook Roadrunners in their Homecoming Game in Winslow on Friday in a game that will see the winner leading the region. Holbrook defeated Window Rock 30-20 at Holbrook on Friday. Chinle will be at Ganado to meet the Hornets in their second 3A North Region game. Ganado gave Monument Valley a battle before losing 14-8.