The loss leaves Verbena winless on the season, but they presented a real challenge to Winterboro.
The ‘Dogs scored the first two touchdowns of the game but saw Verbena rally in the second quarter to tie the game before halftime.
“They played tough,” Winterboro coach David Nurnberg said. “We knew they were tough and they play a good brand of football. Our defense stepped up in the second half, and one senior — Taylor Garret — decided he was going to put the team on his shoulders, and said he wasn’t going to let them score in the second half.”
Jaylen Ashley scored first for Winterboro, running at left end on a six-yard run and a 6-0 lead.
Cardri Duncan put on a 78-yard broken field running demonstration early in the second quarter to score, and Ashley ran in the conversion to lead 14-0.
Verbena got back in the game their next possession, driving 64 yards to score. The drive was sparked by a pass from Jared Mims to Jacob Montgomery for 19 yards and a 27-yard run by Mims for a first-and-goal at the 4-yard line. Jaronskie Williams carried it in from the two, and James Clackley kicked the PAT to make if 14-7.
Verbena forced Winterboro to punt, and drove 53 yards to score again. Williams and Mims alternated on carries on the drive, with Williams covering the final three yards to tie the score 14-14 in the final minute of the first half.
Garrett got his first interception of the night in the third quarter to put Winterboro in business at the 20, and the ‘Dogs drove 80 yards to score. Duncan hit the right sideline for 30 yards for the touchdown and Ashley scored the conversion for a 22-14 lead.
Midway through the fourth quarter Winterboro’s Blake Chandler recovered a Verbena fumble to set up the next TD. Duncan broke loose on a 52-yard run for a first-and-goal, and Garrett covered the final 6 yards on a quarterback keeper for the points.
The final scoring of the game came with four and a half minutes left when Garrett intercepted a Red Devil pass and ran it back 56 yards to score. Duncan carried it in on the conversion.
Nurnberg said results of other games would determine whether Winterboro would enter the playoffs. “We let ourselves get into a situation where others decide our fate,” he said.
Winterboro had 363 rushing yards in the game and completed 5 of 15 passes for 65 yards. The Bulldogs game up three fumbles and 50 yards in penalties.
Verbena had 248 rushing yards and completed three of eight passes for 41 yards. Verbena gave up three interceptions and a fumble.
Williams had 201 yards rushing for Verbena. Latrail Jackson recovered one fumble for Verbena and Bryan Rasberry recovered two.
Duncan had 185 yards rushing for Winterboro and scored two touchdowns. Garrett made two interceptions and ran one of those back for a touchdown. He also passed for 65 yards. James Wheeler also intercepted a pass for Winterboro.
The game wrapped up Region play for Winterboro, with a 3-6, 3-4 season record. The Bulldogs travel to Childersburg next week to take on the Tigers, being coached this year by Adam Fossett, who was Winterboro’s coach last year.
Verbena hosts Billingsley next week to close out the season.