Colfax comes up short |

Colfax comes up short

Daniel Mano Herberholz
Special to The Union

WINTERS — When the opportunity to let their opponent rally Friday, the Warriors found another gear. Colfax simply could not keep up.

Jacob Lowrie uncorked a 59-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Morgan Nicholas and Chaz Matthews added a 15-yard touchdown run to push the Winters High School football team past the Falcons for a 34-21 season-opening, non-league win at Dr. Sellers Field.

“After they scored two touchdowns on us, we knew we had to step up,” said Matthews, a senior who gained 123 yards on 17 carries. “We knew we had to make adjustments. We knew we had to come together and play with heart and go from there.”

That passion wowed Winters coach Daniel Ward.

“I’ve never seen effort like that,” said Ward, high praise considering his Warriors won the Division III Northern Section championship last season. “They flew everywhere. You could just see them laying out and diving and grabbing people by their jerseys, even when they barely missed. They played out of their minds.”

Winters (1-0) allowed 228 yards on defense, though 79 of those came on a late drive with substitutes playing and 32 on a trick play in the third quarter. Most of the Colfax offense came from senior Timothy Rawlins, who rushed for 94 yards and scores of 36- and 21-yards. Falcons quarterback Marcus Jackson finished with 86 yards and a 24-yard touchdown to Matthew Harshman on 7 for 11 passing.

Matthews called it “honestly the best defense I’ve played for all my years of high school football.”

Mitchell Stewart led the Warriors with six solo tackles and Matthews added four.

“It seems like everybody just wants to make that tackle, wants just to hit somebody,” Lowrie said.

Chris Kays tallied two sacks and Lowrie caught an interception.

Of the second-quarter pick, Lowrie said, “I turned around and bam, it was right there … Happy birthday to me.”

Lowrie, a senior, finished with 88 yards rushing to go with 122 passing, including a two-yard touchdown to junior Luke Vice and a 39-yard toss to Jaime Bermudez.

“They were so focused on the run, but we threw effectively,” Ward said.

The best example was the 59-yard score to Nicholas with two minutes left in the third quarter. Ward had the Warriors use play-action to bust open Nicholas for a 28-14 lead.

“We sold the fake and cornerback bit,” Lowrie said. “I saw him wide open so I just threw it up to him.”

The running game, however, was what powered Winters. Ward said the tailback was “absolutely phenomenal.”

“He was better than Rawlins tonight, and that’s how we won the game,” Ward said of Matthews, who had runs of 26 and 35 yards. “He just rose to the challenge. Every time Tim did something, Chaz answered back.”

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