The Iron Plow Trophy will remain in Holmes Township for another year after Wynford steam-rolled Colonel Crawford, 41-14, in their rivalry contest played Friday at the Royals home stadium.
“It’s important, one, because it’s a rivalry game, and two, because it’s a league game and a team in our region,” said Wynford head coach Gabe Helbert. “All of those factors kind of roll into one and makes it a huge game for us.”
Junior quarterback Zach Hoffman and senior running back Nick Looker provided the bulk of the highlights for Wynford. Hoffman carried the ball 23 times for 185 yards and three touchdowns, and completed 4-of-7 passes for 104 yards. Looker rushed for 127 yards and scored three times on 19 touches. Josh Gregory rushed for 58 yards and Robbie Miller ran for 39 yards.
The Royals (2-1, 2-0 N10) wasted no time lighting the scoreboard in front of a rain-soaked crowd. Hoffman directed a 4-play, 39-yard drive after Eagles running back Blake Treisch fumbled on the first play of the game. Hoffman scored on a 15-yard run around the right end with 10:37 to play in the opening period and Jalon Brown tacked on the extra point to give Wynford a 7-0 lead.
Colonel Crawford (2-1, 1-1 N10) recovered immediately as senior quarterback Will Kirkpatrick engineered a 4-play, 65-yard march that took just 1:27 to complete. Kirkpatrick opened the drive with an 8-yard run, then hit senior wideout Owen Adams for a 10-yard gain and reeled off a 5-yard run. After the Eagles were pushed back five yards via a penalty, Kirkpatrick exploded for a 47-yard scoring run. He started the play to the left, then cut back to his right and outpaced the Royals to the end zone with 9:10 showing on the clock. Noah Ferguson’s right foot tied the game at 7-7.
Wynford’s offense stalled on its next possession and the Royals turned the ball over on downs at their own 41. The Eagles put together a quick scoring drive to take the lead. Kirkpatrick and Adams teamed to provide the key plays. Kirkpatrick hit Adams down the middle of the field for a 21-yard gain and then hooked up with him on a 9-yard touchdown pass at the 5:35 mark of the first quarter to give the Eagles their only lead of the game, 14-7.
That lead wouldn’t last long, though, as Hoffman and Looker carried the load for Wynford during a 12-play, 80-yard march that ended with Looker scoring on a 6-yard run that knotted the scored at 14 with just four seconds showing on the clock.
“We wanted to come out and play hard and I thought our kids did that,” said Helbert. “After the first quarter, I thought our kids just buckled down and we controlled the line of scrimmage, which is what we really set out to do. I’m just really proud of our kids for their effort and the execution. It was just an excellent all-around team win, and I hope it gets the momentum going in the right direction.”
The Royals took complete control of the game in the second quarter, adding two more touchdowns to take a 26-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. Hoffman capped off a 65-yard drive with a 19-yard scoring run at the 7:11 mark of the second period. Looker got in on the act again with two minutes left in the half when he scored from a yard out to put the finishing touches on a 63-yard drive.
Colonel Crawford put together a 9-play, 54-yard drive with time running out in the second quarter, but Ferguson missed a 30-yard field goal attempt on the soggy field to end the scoring threat.
Wynford staged an impressive scoring march to open the second half. Hoffman made three big plays on the drive, hitting Tony Watson for a 24-yard gain and reeling off runs of 17 and 11 yards to push the Royals into scoring position at the Eagles 6-yard line. Hoffman ran the ball himself for his third touchdown of the game that extended Wynford’s lead to 34-14 with 7:09 remaining in the third quarter.
Looker added the final score for the Royals from a yard out early in the fourth period. Wynford’s last scoring drive covered 69 yards and took more than five minutes off the clock. Looker’s touchdown run came at 11:57 mark of the final quarter.
Colonel Crawford only crossed midfield once in the second half, and that was when the Eagles reserves recovered a fumble at the Wynford 30 with 1:45 left in the game.
“I thought our offense and our special teams played well throughout the game,” said Colonel Crawford head coach Ryan Teglovic. “(Wynford) was well prepared. They did some things we hadn’t seen before and they did them fairly well. They typically run a set of plays to their quick side and their strong side, they don’t deviate much from that. Well, they deviated from that tonight and also used a couple of different formations that we hadn’t seen before. I give credit to their coaches and their players for getting that done.”
Kirkpatrick finished with 128 yards rushing on 16 carries. He completed 6-of-9 passes for 59 yards. Adams caught all six passes from Kirkpatrick. Treisch carried five times for 21 yards.
Wynford plays host to Carey in Week 4. The Blue Devils (1-2, 0-2 N10) lost to Mohawk, 22-6, on Friday.
Colonel Crawford entertains unbeaten Seneca East next Friday. The Tigers (3-0, 2-0 N10) blanked Bucyrus, 40-0, in Week 3.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.