Quitman Bulldogs ended the football season Friday night with a 40-0 loss to playoff-bound Winona. Winona’s speed spelled the difference in the game.
With the loss, Quitman ends what began as a promising season winning at Cumby in the first game and breaking a 43 game losing streak. The Bulldogs ended the year on an eight-game losing streak and going winless in district 10-3A D II.
The Bulldogs took the opening kick-off and got good field position with a return to the Quitman 44-yard line. River Chaney took a handoff on the first play going ten yards for a first down in Winona territory. Trey Berry ran two times for 11 yards and another Bulldog first down on the Wildcat 31 yard line. A pair of penalties moved the ball back to mid-field and Quitman gave up the ball on downs.
Winona ran four plays before Quitman’s Dylan Coe intercepted a Wildcat pass, returning it 23 yards and Quitman set up at their own 43. Four plays later Quitman had to punt and Winona got a 40-yard return to the Quitman 33 yard line. Five plays later, the Wildcats scored on a 15 yard run by Quindarious Johnson to go ahead 7-0 with 4:44 to go in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs took the kick-off back to their own 33-yard line. Quitman used 10 plays to get the ball into Winona territory where they turned the ball over on downs at the Wildcat 35. Two plays later, Wildcat Dakota Pullum raced 52 yards to the Quitman four yard line where Johnson ran it in again to make it a 14-0 game. Winona scored again with 3:35 left in the half to make it 20-0 at intermission.
The Bulldogs just could not get on track, plagued by untimely penalties.
Winona made it 27-0 just 12 seconds into the second half on a 50 yard run by Johnson. Pullum ran for another Winona score with 9:25 left in the quarter to give the Wildcats a 33-0 advantage. Winona reserves tacked on one more score with 3:46 to go to make it a 40-0 final.
Trey Berry had another 100-yard rushing night and is the first Bulldog in recent memory to eclipse the 1,000 yard rushing plateau. Berry ran for 1,170 yards, had 450 passing yards. Berry will return for his senior year next year.
“Although the season did not go as we had hoped in terms of wins and losses, there was a great deal of improvement. First and foremost, we were able to garner a win and start a new mindset,” Head Coach Bryan Oakes said. “We were competitive in most games and unlike the previous year we continued to fight even when a game seemed out of hand. Statistically, we improved in every category and program-wide, we were able to win five games, four coming from our eighth grade. Although we hate the loss of the seniors, we have a stable of players coming back and look forward to the future of Quitman football.”
Harmony won the District 10-3A DII championship followed by Troup, Grand Saline and Winona who will represent the district in the state playoffs beginning this week. Harmony (9-1) takes on Bells (4-6). Troup (8-2) will tackle Paris Chisum (4-6) in Sulphur Springs Friday at 7:30 p.m. Winona (6-4) goes against Cooper (8-1) in Mt. Pleasant at 7:30 p.m. and Grand Saline (6-3) will go to Terrell for a Friday night 7:30 p.m. kick-off against Blue Ridge.