CINCINNATI – Winton Woods junior running back Miyan Williams sprinted 73 yards toward the end zone of The Pit early in the first quarter Friday night.
It was perhaps one of the most exhilarating plays of the season for one of the state’s best players, except for the fact he fumbled at the 2-yard line. Williams returned to the sideline and vowed to make amends. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound standout did just that with a thunderous impact on a rainy night.
“I was pretty disappointed in the first one,” Williams said. “I had to make it up somehow.”
Did he ever.
Williams rushed for 228 yards and two touchdowns to help lift the visiting Warriors past Elder 28-10.
“I think he’s one of the best players in the state of Ohio,” Winton Woods coach Andre Parker said. “Point blank. Period. I think he’s a special guy.”
Friday night was the ninth meeting between the two highly-respected area programs in different divisions.
“It felt good. We had to get revenge from last year,” Williams said.
Elder won at Winton Woods 35-34 in 2017 after Winton Woods captured the 2015 and 2016 games.
“A big (computer) points game for us,” Parker said. “We take the Elder game serious. We really do. We love the series. We love the game. It’s special to come down here and play. Any time you play them we know it’s going to be a great game.”
Winton Woods (7-1) is No. 2 in the Division II, Region 8 computer points standings and controls its own postseason destiny, according to Joe Eitel.
The Winton Woods defense held Elder to 80 yards rushing. Senior defensive lineman Anthony Booker had three sacks and a blocked punt.
Booker, who is 6 feet 5 and 283 pounds, battled some bumps and bruises and was limited in practice this week, but Parker was very impressed with his performance.
“I tell you what, Anthony Booker was not supposed to play tonight,” Parker said. “He had two sacks and blocked a punt. He disrupted a lot of balls. He played outstanding. That’s the best I have seen him play, especially in this type of environment. He was special.”
Senior linebacker Jalen Engleman had seven tackles for the Warriors.
Winton Woods sophomore quarterback MiChale Wingfield continues to play well. He had 13 carries for 111 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. He was also 5 of 10 passing for 86 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Rashaun Brown in the first quarter.
Winton Woods had 452 yards of total offense.
“This is a huge time to come in here and win and lead his team to a victory,” Parker said. "That’s something very few sophomores can say.”
Elder (4-4) is No. 5 in Division I, Region 4. The Panthers led 10-7 at halftime but were held scoreless in the second half.
“I told them the game of football is about competing,” Elder coach Doug Ramsey said about his postgame speech. “We have to play an extremely difficult schedule and have to play at a high level every week. It’s challenging. Win or lose, you have to walk off the field knowing you gave everything you had. We need to stay confident and find a way to get back on track and get into the playoffs.”
Senior linebacker Jake Hofmeyer and junior linebacker Connor Keyes each had seven tackles.
Senior quarterback Michael Bittner threw for 171 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown pass to junior Matthew Luebbe in the first quarter.
Junior Sam Harmeyer made a 29-yard field goal to give Elder a 10-7 lead with 8:40 left in the second quarter.
Winton Woods entered the third quarter with a renewed focus offensively. The Warriors took nearly seven minutes off the clock on the opening drive of the second half.
Williams scored on a 1-yard touchdown on fourth down to help give the Warriors a 14-10 lead at the 5:29 mark.
The Winton Woods defense proved to be stout on the next driver and stopped Elder on fourth down in the Warriors’ territory.
Later, Williams scored on a 4-yard run to help give the Warriors a 21-10 lead with 8:54 left in the fourth quarter.
Elder went for it on fourth down with under six minutes left at the Winton Woods 18, but senior defensive back Tyquan Fleming picked off the pass in the end zone to help seal the game for the Warriors.
Winton Woods plays host to St. Francis DeSales (5-3) Oct. 19.
Elder next plays host to St. John Vianney (St. Louis, Missouri) Oct. 19.
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