WAYNE — Friday night’s Cardinal Conference matchup between Winfield and Wayne was a tale of two halves.
For the Generals, it was the finish that mattered most.
Brayton Boggs took a toss around the right end and scored from 40 yards out, finally putting away host Wayne as Winfield defeated the Pioneers 27-14.
“He’s a great kid and a great worker,” first-year Winfield coach Eddie Smolder said of Boggs. “You could just see the desire in his eyes to score on that play.”
Boggs finished with a game-high 99 yards on 12 rushes and two scores.
It didn’t look as though the Generals (3-1) would need a late touchdown to put the game away.
Winfield raced to a 21-0 lead in a dominant opening quarter but was unable to add to the lead in the second period. Then midway through the third quarter, the Generals went for a fourth-and-5 at their own 30-yard line. A wall of Wayne defenders met the counter handoff in the backfield for a 2-yard loss.
Jaxson Damron put Wayne on the board a short time later, finding the end zone from a yard away with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
Using a short passing game, the Pioneers made the game even more interesting in the fourth quarter, driving to the end zone. Rylen Murdock caught a pass from Grady Spradlin from 7 yards out, stretching the ball across the goal line to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 8:06 left.
Spradlin, who finished 13 of 15 passing for 86 yards, was injured after Wayne got the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead in the final five minutes.
“That’s the way it falls sometimes,” Wayne coach Tom Harmon said. “We’ve had some struggles at times but we start to see the light, then we have a setback.”
The Pioneers managed just 93 yards on the ground against a stout Winfield front.
“Our kids are tough, and they play hard,” Smolder said. “They were aggressive and reading their keys. It wasn’t perfect, but we were really physical and we hustled.”
The Generals took the opening drive of the game 62 yards in 11 plays, with quarterback Brycen Brown finishing the drive with a scoring run from a yard out. Boggs had a 10-yard scoring run and Tanner Laughery caught a 34-yard scoring strike, all in the first quarter.
Winfield ran 39 plays to just 17 for Wayne before halftime. The Pioneers then ran 37 plays in the second half compared to just 15 for the Generals, illustrating the vast difference in the two halves.
WINFIELD 21 0 0 6—27
WAYNE 0 0 6 8—14
Wi- Brown 1 run (Hernandez kick)
Wi- Boggs 10 run (Hernandez kick)
Wi- Laughery 34 pass from Brown (Hernandez kick)
Wa- Damron 1 run (kick failed)
Wa- Murdock 7 pass from Spradlin (Estep pass from Spradlin)
Wi- Boggs 40 run (run failed)
RUSHING— (Win): Boggs 12-99, Beam 17-86, Pearson 6-41, Brown 10-18, Hinkle 1-11.
(Way): Gilliam 8-37, Damron 11-35, Spradlin 6-26, Murdock 6-16, Mathis 2-7, Dingess 1-(-6), Team 2-(-22).
PASSING—(Win): Brown 2-7-0, 44 yards; Hinkle 0-1-0. (Way): Spradlin 13-15-0, 85 yards; Dingess 2-3-0, 11 yards.
RECEIVING—(Win): Laughery 2-44. (Way): Hammer 2-37, Adkins 5-28, Murdock 5-19, Damron 2-14, Gilliam 1-6.