Aviators grind out season-ending win

Staff Reports • Sep 29, 2017 at 12:30 AM

MT. JULIET — Winfree Bryant overcame early injuries to beat host West Wilson 14-6 Thursday night in the Aviators’ season finale.

After Anthony Crowell’s opening kickoff return for a touchdown was called back by a block-in-the-back penalty, he got his score a short time later on a 14-yard run. Quarterback Jackson Painter’s two-point conversion staked the Avs to an 8-0 lead.

Kacey London threw a 40-yard halfback pass to wide receiver Dewayne Brown for a 14-0 second-quarter lead.

West Wilson scored on a 15-yard pass on the final play of the first half.

Defense ruled the second half. Painter, playing linebacker intercepted a West Wilson pass and linebacker Fisher Bradshaw, playing with a bad ankle sprain, picked off another with less than two minutes to play. Painter rumbled 25 yards for a first down and seal the win.

“It was a fitting way for this team to finish a winning season - big, gutsy performances when we needed them the most. That’s what defined this team,” Winfree Bryant coach Jody Criswell said. “ It’s a special group led by some very talented eighth-graders. I was fortunate to be their coach for three years. If they stick together, the future is bright and the sky’s the limit for them.”

Bradshaw and fellow offensive guard Chris Jacobs were injured early in the game. Jacobs suffered a pulled groin and Bradshaw the ankle sprain.

“That killed our ability to pull our guards on offense,” Criswell said. “They are also our starting inside linebackers so it cramped us on defense. But we basically grinded out a win with less than 150 yards rushing and passing.”

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