Before the game Friday, Kiante Enis needed just 13 yards to reach 1,000 rushing yards.
He got a lot more than that.
And with senior Gatlin Kramer dominating the game out of the wildcat formation, Winchester earned a share of the Tri-Eastern Conference football title Friday night with an impressive 47-19 win over Centerville at Craig Field.
The result was the sixth straight TEC win for the Golden Falcons, who end the regular season 6-3 overall. Northeastern beat Winchester 28-14 in the first conference game of the season for both teams, and the Knights share the 2013 title with WCHS after a thrilling Friday home win over Union City.
Centerville is responsible for Northeastern’s lone TEC loss of the year, while prior to Friday, the Bulldogs’ only loss had come to Union City, the team Northeastern beat Friday.
It was the first conference football crown for the Falcons since 2009, as the sophomore Enis was the beneficiary of strong line play in sprinting for six rushing touchdowns, tying the school single-game record. Unofficially, he had 160 yards in the first half alone, on just 14 carries, with scoring runs of 30, 46, 3, 8 and 2 yards.
According to Winchester sources, Steve Jarrett had six touchdowns for the Golden Falcons in 1982.
It could have been even more. Neither Enis nor Kramer played at all in the fourth quarter.
Enis scored every time Winchester had the football before intermission. He ran 9 yards for a touchdown on his team’s only possession in the third quarter.
With normal quarterback Dustyn Hangen out with an arm injury, Winchester went to the wildcat offense, with direct snaps going either to Kramer or Enis.
The punishing Golden Falcon running game went on without a hitch, no matter who took the snaps.
And Kramer gave his team a short field with three long kickoff returns and two good returns off interceptions.
In fact, Kramer had 284 total return yards in three quarters, the final 67 coming on the return of his second pick of the night, the final score that put WVHS up 47-13.
WCHS led 34-7 at intermission, and Enis carried the ball just twice for 15 yards in the third quarter before exiting the game for the night.
Winchester coach Mike Jones still expected good things from this team, even with the early loss in the TEC.
“You expect guys to step up when you have 16 seniors,” Jones said after talking on the field with his conference championship team. “I love the guys up front on this team. They do the blocking so that our running backs get all the attention.”
He went on with some recent WCHS football history.
“This group of seniors went 1-9 two years ago as sophomores, but they worked hard and earned this success,” Jones said. “I’m proud as heck of these guys.”
The senior Kramer spoke of preparing for this big game versus Centerville.
“We had to be prepared mentally to play tough, and we were,” Kramer said.
Enis pointed to the line play in front of him.
“Our line just makes fantastic holes in front of me to run through. That’s why I score the touchdowns,” Enis said.
Holes, yes, but the speedy sophomore ran past and around Bulldog tacklers all night.
Centerville ends the regular season 5-4 overall, but 5-2 in the TEC, good for third place.
“We had a super season, this team has a lot to be proud of,” CHS head coach Perry Irwin said. “My hat’s off to Winchester. They have a good team, a good offensive and defensive line and excellent running backs.”
Senior Bryce Robinson had a huge game for the ‘Dogs, scoring all three CHS touchdowns, and finishing with, unofficially, 34 carries for 169 yards.
Next week, both teams are at home for Class 2A, Sectional 38 games. Indianapolis Scecina visits CHS, while Heritage Christian comes to Winchester.