Donoho found itself in unfamiliar territory at Lentz Field heading into the locker room at the half tied with Class 1A, Region 5 opponent Winterboro.
This one became a game of wills, and it was Donoho that won it in the end, scoring the final two touchdowns in a 33-21 victory at home.
“I told the team it would be our most physical game yet. Not to discount Winterboro and the job Coach Beckett does with those guys, but we played with great team effort and made a couple of big plays when we had to,” Donoho coach Mark Sanders said. “We beat a really good region team.”
After trading possessions back and forth, Donoho struck first in the opening quarter with a 20-yard touchdown reception from Ridge Hopkins to Rod Elston on fourth-and-five with 3:33 to go. The touchdown was followed by one of three extra points from Ethan Miles-Jamison.
The Falcons led 7-0 after the first, but Winterboro answered quickly with 10:49 in the second quarter on a strong keeper from quarterback Zae Holland from 19 yards out to tie the game.
Donoho regained the lead seconds later on an Elston 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown making the score 14-7 following the extra point. Winterboro would take it down the field and stall on a huge fourth-down stop by Edwin Connell. Winterboro would get the ball back one more time and score on a 9-yard handoff to Marquez Curry with 34 seconds before half. Brody Hamm made one of his three extra points to tie it.
The Falcons scored on a 3-yard Elston run with 6:45 in the third quarter. Following a failed extra point, the Falcons led 20-14. The Bulldogs scored quickly on another Holland 15-yard rush and retook the lead 21-20 after the extra point.
Donoho’s Reed Williamon quickly changed that with an 8-yard touchdown reception with 10:50 left in the game. A failed two-point conversion kept the score at 26-21 Donoho.
The Bulldogs drove to the goal line and fumbled in the end zone for a touchback with 6:51 to go in the game. Donoho sealed it with 2:22 left on a 7-yard Elston run making it 33-21.
What to know
—This was a big region win for Donoho heading into next week’s matchup with Spring Garden.
—Hopkins had a solid night passing for Donoho with 135 yards through the air on 10-12 passing.
—Elston led the Falcons in rushing with 107 yards on 17 carries.
—Grant Steed, Reed Williamon, and Connor Goodson were productive on offense as well. Williamon led the defense with 10 tackles. Cam Thomas, Conner Goodson, and Edwin Connell also combined for multiple stops.
—Winterboro coach Alan Beckett on the game: “Hats off to Donoho. They had a great game plan and had some gutsy calls with some big throws early in the game. The fumble in the end zone was a back breaker for us.”
—Donoho’s Elston on the game: “Winterboro ran the ball well on us. We have to come to practice with a good mindset this week. Spring Garden will be another hard and physical game, but we’ll be ready.”
—Donoho will play host to Spring Garden in a huge 1A, Region 5 matchup.