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It was a see-saw battle Friday night in the football game played between visiting Winchester and the home team Northeastern Knights.

The Knights owned a 6-0 lead at half-time only to see Winchester take the second half kick-off and march 76 yards to tie the game and with the two-point conversion take the lead at the 5:32 mark of the third period.

The Knights answered back to regain the lead with a 70-yard drive with two minutes left in the third period, but the Falcons came back to tie the game at the 10:41 mark of the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, the experienced Knights capped off the evening with a pair of fourth quarter scores to win the battle 27-14 and in the process take command of the Tri-Eastern Conference race standing now at 3-0 in the league.

The way the game played out was a microcosm of how Winchester’s season has gone so far, starting out with a 40-0 loss to No. 1 in 1A South Adams, bouncing back to defeat TEC foe Knightstown 50-8 in week two prior to coming up short against Northeastern in a game that the Falcons had their chances to win.

“We had a bad week of practice,” expressed Winchester head coach Mike Jones. “This is a hard lesson. We have a young team and these are things you go through with a young group. It’s very frustrating, obviously, but when you have a bad Tuesday and a bad Wednesday that almost always leads to a bad Friday. If we’re going to be as good as we’re capable of being, we can’t have bad weeks and practice poorly.”

As the score indicates, through the first three quarters, the Falcons stood toe to toe with the Knights. The difference proved to be not finishing an early drive and the inability to get the defense off the field during the majority of the fourth quarter.

The Falcons were rolling in their first possession of the game, getting yardage in chunks as they moved over a five minute span from the WC 21 to be on the NE eight yard line facing a second down and one.

But after three consecutive tries, the Knights turned the Falcons away, eventually taking over possession on downs at the NE 16.

Winchester’s defense did its bend but not break during that Northeastern possession, but later in the second quarter the Knights broke the scoreless tie by mounting a 55 yard drive that was capped off by a one yard plunge by fullback Shane Berry with 6:11 showing on the clock.

Trailing 6-0 at the half, the Falcons regrouped, starting the third period with an impressive 76-yard drive that resulted in a score when sophomore QB Brayden Tippett connected from 32 yards away to senior tight end Joe Anderson. Cole Campbell tacked on two more points on the ensuing conversion and suddenly the Falcons were on top leading 8-6.

That momentum didn’t last very long as on the very first snap on the Knights next drive, QB Garrett Tudor found Wesley Mull for a 40-yard bomb that placed the football on the WC 30 yard line and put WC’s defense on its heels.

Eight plays later Cade Bray burst through for a six yard TD run that gave NE a 14-8 advantage with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Winchester showed its resiliency by answering with a 54-yard drive that began late in the third be- fore ending with a touchdown at the 10:41 mark of the fourth quarter.

The drive was kept alive thanks to a fourth down conversion pass from Tippett to sophomore class- mate Brooks Burelison that out the football on the NE 32.

On the next snap, Campbell broke loose to go the remaining 32 yards to pay dirt. This time the con- version run was stopped, leaving the score tied at 14-14.

The Knights’ again got a big spark from Mull who sprinted free for a 43 yard run to start the next possession for Northeastern.

With the ball now at the WC 19, it took just five plays before Alex Mikesell put NE in front to stay with a six yard TD run. Mull added the extra point boot to make it a 21- 14 Knights’ lead with 7:29 to play.

Winchester still had time but a costly turnover occurred on its very next play with the Knights taking possession at the WC 47 with 7:18 to play. Five plays later it would be Mikesell scoring again, this time on a 29 yard run, putting NE on top 27-14 with 5:21 left in the game. It would be three plays and then punt for the Falcons on their last possession of the game. Northeastern’s running game would eat up the final 3:35 on the clock.

“We’re young and we’re going to make mistakes but we’re going to keep learning.” added Coach Jones. “One of the thing I did before we left was I put four things on the board that we had to do to win tonight and two of the four things I just don’t’ think we did. One of them was we turned the ball over, twice, and that hurt us and the other thing I said–and I said it was the most important thing – was we had to be the tougher football team and I do not think that was true tonight.”

turned the Falcons away, eventually taking over possession on downs at the NE 16.

Winchester’s defense did its bend but not break during that Northeastern possession, but later in the second quarter the Knights broke the scoreless tie by mounting a 55 yard drive that was capped off by a one yard plunge by fullback Shane Berry with 6:11 showing on the clock.

Trailing 6-0 at the half, the Falcons regrouped, starting the third period with an impressive 76-yard drive that resulted in a score when sophomore QB Brayden Tippett connected from 32 yards away to senior tight end Joe Anderson. Cole Campbell tacked on two more points on the ensuing conversion and suddenly the Falcons were on top leading 8-6.

That momentum didn’t last very long as on the very first snap on the Knights next drive, QB Garrett Tudor found Wesley Mull for a 40-yard bomb that placed the foot- ball on the WC 30 yard line and put WC’s defense on its heels.

Eight plays later Cade Bray burst through for a six yard TD run that gave NE a 14-8 advantage with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Winchester showed its resiliency by answering with a 54-yard drive that began late in the third be- fore ending with a touchdown at the 10:41 mark of the fourth quarter.

The drive was kept alive thanks to a fourth down conversion pass from Tippett to sophomore class- mate Brooks Burelison that out the football on the NE 32.

On the next snap, Campbell broke loose to go the remaining 32 yards to pay dirt. This time the con- version run was stopped, leaving the score tied at 14-14.

The Knights’ again got a big spark from Mull who sprinted free for a 43 yard run to start the next possession for Northeastern.

With the ball now at the WC 19, it took just five plays before Alex Mikesell put NE in front to stay with a six yard TD run. Mull added the extra point boot to make it a 21- 14 Knights’ lead with 7:29 to play.

Winchester still had time but a costly turnover occurred on its very next play with the Knights taking possession at the WC 47 with 7:18 to play. Five plays later it would be Mikesell scoring again, this time on a 29 yard run, putting NE on top 27-14 with 5:21 left in the game. It would be three plays and then punt for the Falcons on their last possession of the game. Northeastern’s running game would eat up the final 3:35 on the clock.

“We’re young and we’re going to make mistakes but we’re going to keep learning.” added Coach Jones. “One of the thing I did before we left was I put four things on the board that we had to do to win tonight

Winchester, now standing at 1-2 on the season, being 1-1 in the TEC, will host Centerville this Friday. It will be Homecoming for the Falcons.