P ueblo — Seven plays, four touchdowns.
The start was something out of a fantasy game for Windsor High School on Friday night.
The finish was a nightmare as top-seeded Pueblo West reeled off 38 unanswered points to eliminate the Wizards 50-27 in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A state football playoffs.
Windsor, the No. 5 seed and the defending Class 3A champion, had visions of a major upset as it raced to a 27-12 lead into the second quarter.
A fumble led to a Pueblo West touchdown and the Cyclones added a field goal that chopped the lead to 27-23 by the half.
Pueblo West went on to score 27 second-half points and blanked the Wizards in the second half.
Pueblo West senior running back Derek Jackson, in pursuit of the state’s single-season rushing record, moved a notch closer with a monster game, exploding for 381 yards on 45 carries and four touchdowns. It marked his sixth 300-yard game of the season and fifth in succession.
Jackson, Pueblo’s all-time career rushing leader, went over the 3,000-yard mark for the season (3,146) and now sits 270 yards behind the state record-holder Myles Smith of Cheyenne Wells.
“We always talk about four quarters,” Jackson said. “We work hard in practice and the results show up in the games.”
Momentum did swing late in the second quarter.
With Windsor leading 27-12 and with the ball, Blake Bunday fumbled and Brandon Summer recovered for West. A play later, Jackson bolted 32 yards for his third touchdown. Jed Mendicino hauled in a 2-point conversion from Zac Drury to chop the lead to 27-20.
The Cyclones added a field goal late in the first half to pull to within 27-23 at the break.
From there, Pueblo West ran downhill.
The Cyclones recovered an onside kick to open the second half and Drury scooted in from 5 yards out to complete a 50-yard drive, giving West its first lead, 30-27.
Another fumble led to another West score with Drury finding Austin Bass from 6 yards out to complete a 10-play, 70-yard drive.
Jackson and Bass added 1-yard touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to wrap up the scoring.
“Hats off to them, they are a great team,” Windsor senior defender Lucas Watts said. “Jackson is a good running back.
“I love my team, I love our family. It wasn’t our night tonight. We’re going to have days like that. You move on and move forward.”
The win moved Pueblo West to 12-0 and a road date with Monarch (11-1) next Saturday in the semifinals, a rematch of the 2007 championship game won by the Cyclones.
Windsor managed just one first down and 10 yards in the second half. It had 257 yards in the first half and finished with 267 on just 28 offensive plays.
Pueblo West had 499 yards of offense on 76 offensive plays, dominating the time of possession.
Windsor hadn’t given up more than 18 points in any game this season and came in giving up just 11 points a game.
Windsor head coach Chris Jones had trouble explaining what happened.
“I have nothing but great memories of these kids for four years,” he said. “They have a lot to be proud of. It’s a big family with a great town. Someone has to lose the game and it was us.
“Jackson runs hard, he’s a well-conditioned athlete.”
Pueblo West coach Monte Pinkerton expects a great semifinal game.
“(Monarch) runs a lot of the same stuff they did when we played them in 2007 and I’m sure they are saying the same thing about us,” Pinkerton said. “It’s championship football and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Pueblo West 50, Windsor 27
WHS 21 6 0 0 — 27
PWHS 12 11 7 20 — 50
W—Jordan Porterfield 54 run (Ryan Romero kick), 9:21
PW—Derek Jackson 21 run (run failed), 3:54
W—Brandon King 47 run (Romero kick), 2:58
PW—Jackson 61 run (run failed), 1:57
W—Blake Bunday 6 run (Romero kick), 1:16
W—Joe Sanger 75 run (run failed), 9:49
PW—Jackson 32 run (Jed Mendicino pass from Zac Drury), 5:11
PW—Brandon Summer 38 field goal), :26
PW—Drury 5 run (Summer kick), 6:22
PW—Bass 6 pass from Drury (Summer kick), 10:52
PW—Jackson 1 run (kick failed), 4:52
PW—Bass 1 run (Summer kick), :59
First downs 6 25
Rushes-yards 25-251 67-435
Passing yards 0 64
Comp-Att-Int 0-3-0 6-9-0
Punts 2-33.0 1-38.0
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-66 3-32
RUSHING — Windsor: Sanger 11 1-29, Porterfield 5-71, King 1-47, Bunday 7-14, Alex Baldwin 1-6. Pueblo West: Jackson 45-381, Bass 9-27, Kamron Clough 2-14, Drury 11-13 .
PASSING—Windsor: Sanger 0-3-0, 0 yards. Pueblo West: Drury 6-9-0, 64 yards.
RECEIVING—Pueblo West: Mendicino 2-32, Bass 2-23, Jackson 1-8, Cameron Barry 1-1.
I love my team, I love our family. It wasn’t our night tonight. We’re going to have days like that. You move on and move forward.”\n
— Lucas Watts, Windsor senior defensive player