Winchell leads Warriors past Mustangs

Edgewood's Zach Winchell throws a pass against Conneaut at Joslin Field in Conneaut on Aug. 29. The Warriors are at home for the first time this season, playing Grand Valley.

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — On a night where the next the newest class was inducted into the Edgewood athletics Hall of Fame, Zach Winchell went out and delivered the type of performance Friday night that would fit the script.

The sophomore threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns as the Warriors defeated Grand Valley 40-7 in a non-conference matchup at Corlew Stadium.

Edgewood (1-1) shook off the bad taste left from a 49-0 loss at Conneaut on Aug. 29. 

Winchell, southpaw,  wasted little time making a good impression in front of the home folks as he completed his first three passes. The third was a 58-yard touchdown toss to Izaiah Harris.

It was the first of two scoring passes to Harris. Winchell also connected with Ethan Colbert and Curtis Warren on scoring plays as well as run a pair in himself.

“It felt really great,” Winchell said. “My guys really helped me out, the line stepped up. We bounced back from a tough loss last week. Everyone stepped up. No one was scared, nobody was thinking about today and we got everyone going.”

Winchell said he didn’t have a favorite target, but Harris ended up with seven catches for 150 yards and the two scores.

“My quarterback played great tonight,” Harris said. “It was his first varsity win and I’m reallly happy for him. Hopefully he can come out and do this every game and help come out with a ‘W’.”

Harris wasn’t the only one happy.

Edgewood coach Jon Butchko said that Winchell made huge strides since the Warriors first game eight days ago.

“He’s grown up from last week,” Butchko. “If you ask him, I think he’d tell you he didn’t play particualary well last week. We wanted to keep it simple.  I think we probably made only seven or eight calls tonight.

“We did it out of different formation, but we didn’t make a whole long play list that had 50-100 plays on it. Then we had guys that were running around catching the ball. Isaiah, Ethan, Curtis and Alec (Katon), they’re a pretty dynamic group.”

It was Edgewood’s first win since defeating Brookfield during Week 6 a season ago.

GV (0-2) answered the big play to Harris with a 15-play, 65-yard drive that ended in a 3-yard touchdown run by David Nye. It was be the only score of the game for the Mustangs, though, who were still without the services of starting quarterback Gordon Segar.

Nye rushed for 74 yards on 26 carries, but GV couldn’t able to find much help elsewhere.

“We’re limited right now,” Mustangs coach Clint Nims said. “The guys battled out there, but we’re still making too many mistakes out there and that’s on me.

“We’re not handling the ball like we’re supposed to, we’re missing blocks and we don’t have guys in the right spots, that’s on me as a coach.”

Nims isn’t sure when they’ll get Segar back and that it’s a week to week situation right now.

Defensively, the Warriors were about as dominant as they were offensively.

Katon picked off three passes, the defense also scooped up a couple of fumbles and kept GV out of the end zone the rest of the way while the offense did it’s thing.

“We had people running to the football and making plays,” Butchko said. “So, we’re excited about that and hopefully that’s our first defensive step of the season.”

After the touchdown run by Nye, Colbert set the Warriors up at their own 42 with a kick return.

From there Winchell took them 58 yards on seven plays, running it in from 4 yards out to make it 14-7.

In the second quarter, he hit Colbert on a 46-yard strike to extend the lead to 20-7.

In the third quarter, Winchell found Warren on a 23-yard pass. Then in the fourth, Winchell threw his second TD pass to Harris, this one from 19 yards away.

Winchell capped the scoring with a 1-yard run following a fumble recovery by the defense to give his offense the ball with a short field.

On Friday, Edgewood goes to Jefferson, while GV hosts Harvey.

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