CORINTH — Dylan Winchell and Jesse Griffin combined for 265 rushing yards and five touchdowns, the Warrensburg defense recorded 12 sacks, including two apiece by Jacob Clear and Jaron Griffin, as the Burghers improved to 3-0 with a 52-0 road victory against Corinth-Fort Edward.
Winchell, one of the smallest players on the field listed at 5-foot-8 and 135 pounds, played large with sweeping touchdown runs of 39 yards and another from 64 yards away on a fourth and 15 to essentially put it away.
Clear was a menace in the backfield, continually applying pressure on the Warhawks offense. The 6-foot-1, 270-pound senior was a pivotal part of the Warrensburg defense that accrued six sacks in the first half and held Corinth-Fort Edward (1-2) to just 165 total yards. Seniors Jaron Griffin, Max Baker and Jesse Griffin also made several key tackles in the second half.
After a scoreless first quarter, Warrensburg put together a 14-play, 80-yard drive culminated by Tristan Hitchcock’s bulling three-yard touchdown with 11:55 remaining.
Hitchcock, a freshman, finished with 60 yards on 12 carries and scored one touchdown and converted a pair of two-point conversions in only his third game playing the position.
After a pair of sacks and a forced punt, Warrensburg added to its lead with an eight-play drive that covered 76 yards and was brought into the end zone by Jesse Griffin on an 8-yard run up the middle.
Winchell scored his first touchdown on a sweep out to the right side, changing directions and stretching to the far side of the field for a 39-yard gallop to push the lead to 24-0 after Mac Baker converted the two-point try.
“He’s (Winchell) small on the field, but he has a big heart,” said fourth-year Warrensburg coach Mike Perrone. “He’s worked really hard in the weight room. He’s number one in our workouts. He used to go down a little easier than what we would have liked. So, we challenged him to be more dynamic. He’s so shifty that he’s now breaking a lot of arm tackles because of his elusiveness.”
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Trailing 24-0, Corinth-Fort Edward appeared to have forced the Warrensburg offense off the field with a fourth and 15 situation on their own 36-yard line with under two minutes to play in the third quarter. Instead, Winchell weaved around and made three defenders miss on a toss play that resulted in the longest touchdown of the night.
“That big run swung the game and put us up by 30 instead of us punting the ball to them,” Perrone said. “That really swung the momentum. People don’t realize how fragile the game of football is when it comes down the handful of plays.”
Winchell pointed to his teammates for helping him seen the open lanes.
“I saw my cut back lanes and my guys were blocking really well down the field,” Winchell said. “I had that one cut and Joey Murdick had the cut back so I ran. (On the second touchdown run) We were running split back toss and I was trying to get to the edge and use my speed. Once I got out there, I hit that cut back and I was gone.”
Being one of the smallest players has only motivated Winchell.
“I like being the smallest guy on the field because that means I have the biggest heart,” Winchell. “I’ve always wanted to be a running back or wide receiver because I feel like I’m most useful in using my speed.”