Wright City routs Winfield to open 2023 high school football season

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 8/26/23

The Wright City Wildcats defeated the Winfield Warriors 49-14 in week one of the 2023 MSHSAA high school football season.

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Wright City routs Winfield to open 2023 high school football season


The Wright City Wildcats dominated to start the 2023 high school football season in a 49-14 win over the Winfield Warriors.

The start time was pushed back to 8 p.m. because of the excessive heat.

After holding Winfield to a 3-and-out to open the game, it took Wright City just two plays to find the end zone when quarterback Joey Gendron hit Kayden Allison for a 50-yard touchdown pass. A two point conversion gave them a quick 8-0 lead.

"It wasn't how we drew it up, but that's just guys making plays and we've got playmakers on the field so they did a good job of taking the play and making something more than expected," coach Tyler Rickard said after the game. "I was just really pleased with the execution of those first two plays and obviously our playmakers did what they did."

The Wildcats then employed a bit of trickery and tried an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. They recovered and one play later, Denzel Dowdy took the handoff and ran 35 yards for another touchdown. A missed extra point gave them a 14-0 lead not even three minutes into the game.

They got the ball right back again after Winfield muffed the kickoff and the Wildcats recovered. This time, though, penalties bogged down the offense.

But Wright City found the end zone again a few drives later after a 90-yard run by Duan McRoberts to give the Wildcats a 22-0 lead.

"We couldn't keep shooting ourselves in the foot if we wanted to finish this game strong," Rickard said. "And so I thought they responded really well. We were able to rattle some off there before halftime and put ourselves in a good position."

They added three more scores in the second quarter.

Carle'on Jones ran for a 23 yard score; Gendron connected with Dowdy on a 32-yard touchdown pass; and then Wright City scored on an untimed down to end the half after Winfield was called for defensive holding.

Winfield also added a second quarter score but failed on the two-point conversion attempt. Wright City led 42-6 at the half.

The second half was played entirely with a running clock. Wright City opened the half with the ball and added another touchdown to make it 49-6. Winfield added a score late in the fourth quarter along with a successful two-point conversion.

Gendron finished the game with 3 touchdown passes and 134 yards.

Dowdy ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries and  Kayden Allison had two receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Devin Myers had four tackles, including two for loss and a sack. Duan McRoberts had an interception, and Jakob Popp recovered two fumbles.

Wright City finished the game with 405 total yards to Winfield's 127. Wright City rushed for 271 yards and added 134 through the air. The Wildcats defense held Winfield to just 43 rushing yards and 84 passing yards. The defense also forced four turnovers and held Winfield to just 3-of-7 on third down. 

Though the Wildcats dominated from the start, they did have issues with a few bad snaps. Rickard said the team would be working on that as well as cleaning up the penalties.

"We'll definitely make sure that we're focusing on that along with a few other things that we messed up," Rickard said.

Wright City starts the season 1-0. The Wildcats are at Orchard Farm at 7 p.m. Sept. 1.

About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at

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