Cordova seemed to come out flat in this region battle on homecoming night, allowing Winston County’s Cody Henderson to take the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown without ever being touched by a single defender. The extra point, however, was blocked by Blake Estes for Cordova, leaving the score at 6-0 only 15 seconds into the game.
The Blue Devils then proceeded to go backwards on their opening offensive series, giving up yardage on two false start penalties.
Alec Southerland added one of his two sacks to back up the Devils further, helping to force a punt after a quick three and out.
Dylan Earnest fielded this punt at his own 18 yard line and found himself in the endzone 82 yards later for the second Winston County score. The 2-point conversion was good on a pass from Seth Blanton to Edward Lamp to give the Yellow Jackets a 14-0 lead before their offense had even taken the field.
Cordova again faltered on offense, going three and out for the second time in as many drives. This time the Blue Devils decided to kick the ball out of bounds in the hopes of giving their defense a chance at stopping the Jackets. This was not to be though, as Blanton found Earnest on the second play from scrimmage for a 63 yard touchdown pass down the sideline, again untouched, to take a 21-0 lead with still over 6 minutes left in the 1st quarter.
This score would remain the same until Cordova's offense finally found life in the second quarter. With just 8 minutes left in the 1st half, Chase Trotter found Zachary Smith for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Andrew Minor added the 2-point conversion for the Devils to cut the lead to 21-8. Cordova then held the Yellow Jackets to a three and out on their next possession, but was unable to capitalize, losing a fumble at the Winston County 15-yard line. But Cordova's defense held the Jackets to yet another three and out, giving the Devils one last chance to cut into the lead before halftime.
But it was not to be. Clay Brooks picked off a Trotter pass on Cordova's second play from scrimmage and took it to the house from 50 yards out. The extra point was again good by Marcus McKissack to give Winston County a 28-8 lead at halftime.
The third quarter was all defense as neither team was able to find a way to score. Cordova, however, seemed to be reinvigorated by the halftime ceremonies. The recognition of the few seniors on the team by the hometown fans inspired the players to put in their best half of football all season, beating Winston County 8-3, even if only for 24 minutes.
The Yellow Jackets (5-1, 4-0) did everything in their power to take the fight out of Cordova, but the Devils just would not concede the victory. Even after Winston County took the ball 79 yards in just over five minutes on their first fourth quarter possession to take a 31-8 lead, the Devils didn’t give up. Cordova would take the ensuing drive 39 yards for a touchdown, after it was set up by a long kick return by Dustin Sanders. The drive was capped by a one yard touchdown run by Minor. Jamal Cooper scored the 2-point conversion on a run up the middle to make the score 31-16.
Cordova (0-6, 0-4) was led on offense by Minor, who carried the ball 17 times for 118 yards, one touchdown, and added 6 tackles on the defensive side. Zachary Smith added 12 carries for 63 yards and had two receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown. Trotter finished the game 8 for 22 passing with 102 yards and one touchdown while throwing two interceptions and being sacked three times.
Blanton led the Yellow Jackets on offense, hitting on 6 of 8 passing attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown.
Tyler Linzer led the Yellow Jackets defense with 7 tackles and one sack while Alec Southerland added two more sacks and 6 tackles.
Winston County hopes to continue their winning season next week against Hanceville, another region opponent, while Cordova hopes to find their first win of the season next week at Danville.