Winfield carries Lutcher to title game in win at West Feliciana
His nickname is “Lunch.” All season long, Lutcher senior quarterback D’Wayne Winfield has been nurturing himself at the expense of devouring opposing defenses.
That trend continued Friday night against unbeaten West Feliciana in the Non Select Division II state semifinals.
Winfield put the Bulldogs on his back and carried sixth-seeded Lutcher to a 35-21 road victory in St. Francisville. He was sensational, rushing 45 times for 331 yards and scored all five touchdowns. Winfield also completed 3 of 5 passes for 38 yards.
Speaking on The 3 Tailgaters Show on NASH ICON 106.1 FM Saturday morning, Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins raved about his star player and his squad.
“He is a special young man and this is a special team,” Jenkins said. “Our motto all year long is to be great and to get to New Orleans in December. We are there.”
Lutcher has had a very rich history of superb quarterbacks. Jenkins, a Lutcher graduate and former assistant coach, has been around for many of those and has seen many of those. He reserved special praise for Winfield.
“We’ve had a lot of great players going back into the 70’s with great quarterbacks,” Jenkins said. “I’ve been around for the last four or five guys but this kid is different. As a complete package, I don’t think any of them can do what he does. This kid has been impressive every step of the way. He leads us in the classroom and in the locker room. What he does on the field speaks for itself.”
Lutcher jumped all over the Saints to take a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Winfield scored first on a 39-yard run to make it 7-0, then scored on a 5-yard run to make it 14-0 and capped a furious first quarter with a 21-yard touchdown jaunt.
Joel Rogers got West Feliciana on the board with a 14-yard touchdown before Ja’Terrius Johnson scored on a 1-yard run and suddenly, it was 21-14 in the second quarter.
Winfield erased that momentum, scoring on a 57-yard run to give Lutcher a 28-14 halftime lead.
West Feliciana drew closer, with Rogers scoring on a 4-yard run to cut the deficit to 28-21 in the third quarter.
That is when the Lutcher defense shut it down the rest of the way.
That is when Winfield decided he would decide the outcome.
Nursing the one-score lead, Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins called Winfield’s number. Then he called it again. Then he called it again.
The end result was Winfield carrying the ball on 17 consecutive plays from scrimmage, driving Lutcher 83 yards and scoring on a 3-yard run for the game-clinching score.
“It was a beautiful thing to watch,” Jenkins. “We said all along that the most physical team would win this game. It doesn’t get more physical then running off an 18-play drive and take over eight minutes and score. We put our helmets on, put our mouthpieces in and grinded it out.”
It was the third time Lutcher has beaten West Feliciana in the state semifinals. Lutcher outlasted the Saints 46-38 in the 2015 semifinals in overtime and the Bulldogs edged West Feliciana 16-14 in the 2016 semifinals.
Nicholls, Southeastern Louisiana and McNeese are the only offers Winfield has.
“I’m puzzled,” Jenkins said. “I don’t understand it. You just keep thinking at some point, someone is going to realize that this kid will make their program better, regardless of what position he plays. You cannot ignore it. I think he throws it well enough to be a top level quarterback. He is such a good runner.”
Lutcher (12-1) will take on No. 4 seed North DeSoto in the Non Select Division II championship game next Saturday at noon at Caesars Superdome. The Griffins blasted top seed Iowa 38-9.
“I spoke with Coach Dennis Dunn of North DeSoto,” Jenkins said. “Our kids are already studying video. Coach Dunn has been extremely successful every stop of the way. They have a young quarterback who is a freshman and has thrown for over 2,000 yards who is very talented.
“They have two running backs with over 1,000 yards rushing,” Jenkins said. “Their defense has forced more than 40 turnovers. It will be a big challenge.”
Lutcher, which has won eight state championships, returns to the title game for the first time since 2016, when the Bulldogs claimed their last title.
“We’re running out of room for banners but the only ones that matter are state championship banners,” Jenkins said. “It you want to be great, there is only one way to great and that is to win a state championship here at Lutcher.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…