PREP FOOTBALL: Cold Springs edges Winston County on the road 20-14

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Cold Springs' Ayden Alexander finished with 98 rushing yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 20-14 region win over Winston County. (Sammy Confer for The Cullman Tribune)

DOUBLE SPRINGS, Ala. – The Cold Springs Eagles looked to stay in the playoff race Friday night when they traveled to Double Springs to take on Winston County. The road trip was a successful one as the Eagles defeated the Yellow Jackets 20-14.

Cold Springs’ first drive started out strong when Ayden Alexander and Brodi Williams got the run game going early, but Williams’ first pass attempt of the game got picked off and a 15-yard face mask penalty after the play put Winston County in excellent field position. A 1-yard touchdown run put the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard first with 8:14 remaining in the opening period. The Eagles were forced to punt on their next series, but their defense forced a punt on the ensuing possession. 

Cold Springs mixed the run and pass on its next series and got something going on offense, but an Alexander fumble to end the quarter quickly stopped the momentum. After another punt by Winston County, Williams continued to find his receivers as he hit Jordan Lacey for 8 yards and later on, found Roberto Ayala for 21 more, putting the Eagles at the 9-yard line. Williams scampered in from a yard out to give the Eagles an 8-6 lead after the 2-point conversion.

After a punt and a failed fourth-down conversion and another punt, the Eagles looked to add to their lead just before the half. Williams found Dylan Gable for a 42-yard pickup, which put them at the 6-yard line, but they ran out of time and went into the locker room still leading 8-6.

Winston County quickly found the end zone on its opening possession of the second half with a 54-yard touchdown run down the left sideline that gave the Yellow Jackets a 14-8 lead with 9:50 remaining in the third quarter. Cold Springs quickly crossed midfield after a 15-yard pass play from Williams to Ayala but went backward after that and was forced to punt. The Yellow Jackets were forced to punt on their next possession and a great return by Alexander put Cold Springs in amazing field position at the 13-yard line. Alexander put the finishing touches on the drive with a 6-yard run to tie the game up at 14.

The Eagles picked a perfect time to force their first turnover of the game as Chase Allcorn recovered a Winston County fumble at the 31. Huge runs by Ayala and Alexander, plus big passes by Williams to Lacey and Burgess, put the Eagles at the 3-yard line and Lacey finished off the 11-play drive with a 1-yard run to give Cold Springs a 20-14 lead with 9:30 remaining in the game. 

Cold Springs forced its second straight turnover when Houston McCarn picked off a pass at the 23-yard line and the Eagles managed to kill a lot of time on the clock but were forced to punt. They pinned Winston County at the 13-yard line and the Yellow Jackets gained a first down, but that was all they could muster as Matthew McKinney got a huge sack after the first down and the Cold Springs defense forced them to turn the ball over on downs. The Eagles then took a knee for the remaining 1:07 to stay in the playoff race with a 20-14 win.

Williams had an efficient night throwing the ball, going 13-for-16 for 130 yards and an interception, plus a touchdown on the ground. Alexander finished with 98 yards on 30 carries and a touchdown.

The Eagles improve to 4-3 on the season and more importantly, 3-1 in the region, and will head home to take on Tarrant in another huge region game next Friday night.

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