The Greeley West football team didn’t have an option Friday night. Windsor did.
The Spartans had one chore — to grind down Windsor’s option offense, a three-headed monster if you will — Joe Sanger, Blake Bunday and Jordan Porterfield.
The Wizards’ triple threat was good for more rushing yards than the Spartans had in total offense en route to a 21-7 Class 4A Northern Conference victory in the regular-season finale for both teams at District 6 Stadium.
Greeley West finishes an uncharacteristically dismal season at 2-5 in conference, 3-7 overall. Windsor wins the conference at 7-0 and will take its 9-1 record into the postseason in its first year at the 4A level.
When the Wizards went ahead 14-7 on a 4-yard run by Bunday with 1 minute, 37 seconds left in the third quarter, it was obvious that the Spartans would need a rare Windsor miscue to keep pace.
Greeley West took advantage of a snap over punter Dalton Walker’s head and a lockdown tackle by Austin Waterman to set up its only score — a 5-yard run by Alex Delacroix with 6:45 left in the third quarter to tie the game at 7.
“I was really proud of our kids in the way they stepped up,” Greeley West coach Mark Roggy said. “We knew going in what kind of a game it would be.”
Windsor didn’t error again, instead
letting Sanger, Bunday and Porterfield run wild to score two unanswered touchdowns — the final one coming on a 30-yard run by Sanger on the Wizards’ first possession of the fourth quarter.
Windsor threw the ball only once, an incompletion in the second half.
“Joe (Sanger) does a great job of reading things, but there are so many other players who don’t get enough credit ... our linemen, our receivers who block so well and our guys on defense,” Windsor coach Chris Jones said. “Tonight, there were the hearts of two lions out on that field, us and Greeley West. We prepare as one, as a team. We start as a team, and we finish as a team.”
Sanger, who finished with 183 yards rushing, explained the brotherhood approach the Wizards take, and added “we were sort of choppy in the first half, but we started making our blocks in the second half.”
The only thing close to choppy in the first half for the Wizards was two red-zone opportunities that came up short.
The Wizards stalled out on a 10-play drive at the Greeley West 21 when Sanger failed to pick up yardage on fourth-and-8.
Windsor’s only other missed opportunity came after Lucas Watts blocked a punt, giving them the ball on the Greeley West 37 with 1:37 left in the first half.
Four plays later, on first-and-goal from the Greeley West 10, Bunday fumbled and Greeley West’s David Eddy recovered the ball.
“That changed the momentum to our favor, and it was too bad there wasn’t more time left in the half for us to really take advantage of it,” said Eddy, who finished his career with a 99-yard rushing effort.
In between the two missed scoring opportunities, the Wizards scored first on a 14-yard run by Porterfield to cap a 50-yard drive where Bunday picked up 32 on one carry.
“They bring it,” Greeley West quarterback Andrew Bruning said. “They run that option and they’re hard to stop. Their offensive line is really big, but I was extremely proud of my boys.”
Though fortunate to be down just 7-0 at the half, the Spartans made it interesting with their lone touchdown midway through the third quarter but picked up only two more first downs the rest of the game, both on Bruning-to-Waterman slant patterns.
The Spartans finished with 180 yards of total offense, hardly enough to offset Windsor’s 351, all via the run.
“Windsor is fast, and they run hard,” Roggy said. “I was impressed with how hard the quarterback (Sanger) ran. They’re tough on both sides of the ball.
“Windsor had a good defense, and I think they’ll go far in the playoffs,” Roggy said. “At the end of the day, Windsor is a well-coached team with a really good combination of talented players, and we just made too many mistakes.”
WHS 0 7 7 7 — 21
GWHS 0 0 7 0 — 7
WHS — Brandon King 14 run (Ryan Romero kick). 3:14 left to play. Drive: 3 plays, 50 yards, 1:24. Key play: A 32-yard run by Blake Bunday on first-and-10 at the GWHS 40. Windsor 7, Greeley West 0.
GWHS — Alex Delacroix 5 run (Ben Roadcap kick). 6:45 left to play. Drive: 2 plays, 44 yards, :53. Greeley West 7, Windsor 7.
WHS — Drew Bunday 4 run (Romero kick). Drive: 8 plays, 62 yards, 5:02. Key play: A 26-yard run by Joe Sanger on third-and-2 at the GWHS 30. Windsor 14, Greeley West 7.
WHS — Sanger 30 run (Romero kick). 9:14 left to play. Drive: 6 plays, 58 yards, 2:32. Key play: A 4-yard run by Sanger on third-and-1 at the WHS 49. Windsor 21, Greeley West. 7.
First downs 16 6
Rushes-yards 44-351 30-125
Passing 0 55
Comp-Att-Int 0-1-0 3-7-0
Sacked-yards lost 0-0 0-0
Punts-Avg. 2-42.0 5-30.3
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-40 6-60
Rushing — WHS, Joe Sanger 18-183, Blake Bunday 7-77, Jordan Porterfield 12-68. GWHS, David Eddy 22-99.
Passing — WHS, Sanger 0-1-0-0. GWHS, Andrew Bruning 3-5-0-55.
Receiving — GWHS, Austin Waterman 2-42.