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FOREST PARK, Ohio – Winton Woods cruised to a victory over Princeton behind a strong running game and five takeaways, 43-13, at Charlie Fredrick Stadium on Friday in the teams’ season openers.
Senior quarterback Sean Steele carried the ball for the first four plays of the game, racking up 80 yards and his first of two rushing touchdowns. He finished the game with 120 yards on 13 carries.
“The runs all started up front with the O-line – I’m just realizing that I have two (College) division I tackles and it’s a great thing to have,” Steele said.
One offensive tackle, Noah Listermann, has committed to Michigan State while the other, George Brown, will play for Florida.
Turnovers led to two short fields that Winton Woods (1-0) was able to take advantage of for 18- and 28-yard touchdown drives that would leave the Warriors with a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“The D-line caused all the turnovers,” Winton Woods linebacker David Long said. “They came off the ball hard and Princeton’s offense wasn’t ready.”
By the time one minute had elapsed in the second quarter, Winton Woods had scored two more touchdowns, and less than 13 minutes into the game the Warriors were up 36-0.
Winton Woods was flagged eight times for 81 yards and at one point the Vikings had more first downs from penalties than from positive plays.
Princeton (0-1) was finally able to get on the board in the middle of the second quarter when senior quarterback Orlando McIntosh hit senior wide receiver Demarcus Staley on a 57-yard touchdown strike, but things had already gotten out of hand.
With 4:44 to go in the second quarter the game was suspended due to lightning, and after a lengthy delay, play finally resumed, but neither team was in sync at all for the remainder of the opening half.
“It was hard to stay focused while we were in the locker room, but we had to come out and try to play like it was 0-0,” Long said.
After a shortened halftime due to the long weather delay, the Warriors scored their final touchdown on a 77-yard touchdown run by Christian Lumpkin, which would put most of the second half under the running clock rule.
Senior running back Marcus Davis finished with 77 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and also looked strong blocking for Sean Steele when the quarterback would keep the ball.
Princeton would end up with 284 yards of total offense, but much of that production came after Winton Woods had pulled its starters, and the Warriors’ defense was as good as hyped early in the game before the outcome was well in hand.
Winton Woods will go on the road to take on Hamilton (0-1) in a game that will give the Warriors a chance to gain some Harbin points against a Division I opponent. Princeton will try to get even at home next week against Walnut Hills (0-1).