Turnover bug dooms Alvord in bi-district loss to Winters

By Austin Jackson | Published
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A case of the fumbles started at the worst possible time for the Alvord Bulldogs Thursday night against the Winters Blizzards.
The Alvord defense was playing lights out and the offense was clicking midway through the first quarter in a scoreless game at Indian Stadium in Comanche.

Alvord quarterback Corbyn Cornell connected with Tanner Richey for a 26-yard gain, setting up first-and-goal from the one. On the next play, Alvord back Clayton Machal took the handoff and found a window to the end zone, but as he stretched toward the goal line, a Winters defender poked the ball free, recovering the fumble for a touchback.
The play stopped a 62-yard drive. And what started as a snowball, quickly turned into an avalanche of turnovers as the Bulldogs. Alvord turned the ball over five more times in a hard-fought 26-7 loss to the Blizzards in the 2A Division I Region I bi-district game.
“The guys that turned the ball over have been the guys that have been making plays for us all year,” Hart said. “I don’t think it was nerves. I think it was pressing. The guys were just trying too hard and when you press too hard you make mistakes. Sometimes you have the fumbles. We turned the ball over at the most inopportune times. They put the ball on the ground several times, but we didn’t come up with it. It’s frustrating that we lost the turnover battle because they were getting ours and we were not getting theirs.”
Despite two turnovers deep in Winters territory, Alvord kept the game scoreless until the final minute of the second quarter. An interception off a deflection led to the first score of the game. Winters receiver Alex Lalas flipped the field on a reverse to reach pay dirt from 14 yards out with just 33 seconds remaining in the half.
After a pair of three and outs, the floodgates opened. Alvord coughed up two consecutive turnovers that resulted in a 20-point third quarter scoring spree for the Blizzards.
“I thought we played with them tooth and nail,” Alvord coach Pete Hart said. “We just didn’t take care of our end of the deal.”
The flood included a pair 59-yard touchdown run by Winters quarterback Jovan Young, a 34-yard touchdown pass to Lalas. And after a diving interception by Lalas a few snaps after his touchdown catch, another 59-yard touchdown run by Young.
Despite the frustrations, the Alvord offense kept plugging away. Cornell kept finding receiver Karson Parker, eventually setting up a 5-yard quarterback keeper to bring the game to within three touchdowns with 11:53 to play.
On the next possession, Winters marched slowly down the field, eating up 10 minutes of clock before turning the ball over on downs. After another pick deep in Blizzard territory with just seconds left to play, Winters killed the clock and held up the bi-district trophy,
In spite of the frustrations and the fumbles, Hart said his team never gave up and hung in it until the end. He credits his senior class for leading the way.
“This senior class has been awesome,” Hart said. “We got seven of them, and they all play an important role on our football team. They have led us this whole year. They’ve led us from the start to the finish. I love that group of guys. They are a special bunch.”


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