In a bruising football game, Windsor tops Roosevelt

(Brock Laue)

(Brock Laue)

WINDSOR — Friday night at Dudley Field, home of the Windsor Wizards, old school football fans would’ve been pleased.

In a 24-7 Wizard win over Roosevelt, both teams displayed a smash-mouth, hard-hitting style with the pigskin almost solely in the hands of the tailbacks and fullbacks.

Windsor, ranked No. 10 in CHSAANow.com's Class 4A poll, threw enough second half punches to pull away from 3A No. 5 Roosevelt (1-1) after a 7-7 score at the break.

“It was a slugfest,” Windsor coach Chris Jones said. “We came out pretty high strung early on. I believe we had seven penalties in the first quarter, which hurt us and helped them a little. They stayed pretty calm."

Roosevelt was coming off a 34-25 road win at 4A Thompson Valley in Zero Week. And the Riders, with lightning painting the background far off in the distance, struck first after recovering a muffed punt return at Windsor’s 41 yard line.

The Wizards had two critical personal foul penalties, giving Roosevelt further momentum. Power back Christian Majszak ran in a two-yard touchdown and the extra point gave the Riders a 7-0 lead with 10:28 to play in the first half.

“We’ll just attribute that to first game jitters with a couple new guys,” Jones said of his team’s early miscues.

“We just came out a little emotional,” fullback Jake Shields added. “We were high-strung and ready to hit. Things got a little out of hand. But eventually, we really just put things together.”

Windsor's James Shields. (Brock Laue)

Windsor's James Shields. (Brock Laue)

“We calmed down in the second quarter, drove one the length of the field, and put one in,” Jones noted. “We got the ball back in the second half, drove down and scored again. I think we calmed down and our coaches schemed real well how to stop the attack and get after the attack. That’s a very tough team and a big team, if you saw compared to us.”

Windsor’s own bruiser, Cody Johnson, capped off a 10-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard plunge to tie the game at seven with 3:44 remaining in the opening half.

From then on, it was all Windsor as the home team utilized a multi-faceted rushing attack and a gritty defense to wear down the Riders. Juniors Jake Shields (16 carries, 94 yards, two touchdowns) and Landon Schmidt — the speedsters — and seniors Noah Winick and Johnson — the bulldozers — controlled possession.

Shields found the edge for a 16-yard touchdown run with 4:59 left in the third to give Windsor a 14-7 lead. The Wizards dominated the ball before a lightning delay with 5:12 remaining. A field goal and another touchdown run by Shields sealed a season opening win for Windsor.

“Jake came back from last week’s scrimmage and did a great job,” Jones said. “He’s a short slippery guy with great vision. You don’t see that little (5-foot-5) dude back there. He runs hard, protects the ball. As far as for pound for pound strength and for how hard he runs, he’s definitely a help.

“Then, we put Cody back there and he’s a bulldozer,” Jones added. “It was a fullback game for us mostly. They took away the quarterback, but if you take away the quarterback, we’ll go fullback wings. Defense played well and wrapped up in tackles. It was a fight. We knew it was going to be 48 body blows.”

“O-line did their jobs and we did all the little details we’ve been working on all summer,” Shields said of the victory. “We just came together as a brotherhood.”

“Thanks to the sacrifice of the kids to do our year-round stuff, conditioning and training, how our coaches push them in practice, and how they push each other in practice, it all goes back to that,” Jones said of his team’s ability to wear down Roosevelt late. "It’s almost like we need a fifth quarter sometimes, because we start off a little slow at times.”

Windsor moves to 1-0 before taking on No. 6 Broomfield, always a tough 4A opponent, at home next Friday.

Quarterback Tanner Bohm was pleased with the season opening win. “That was a good team, good team to play in the first game, and good team to work our kinks out,” he said.

“Our expectations are always high,” Bohm added. “We have a standard at Windsor that we have to uphold every year. Like we say, tradition never graduates, tradition keeps going on and on. We’re held to high expectations and we all know that.”