Winton Woods ends La Salle’s run

CINCINNATI, ohio – With one second left on the clock Yeri Velasquez nailed a 28-yard field goal that sealed the first regional title for Winton Woods since 2009. ”The kick” ended La Salle’s quest for a fourth consecutive Division II state championship and their 17-game postseason winning streak.

La Salle took its first lead of the contest with 2:03 left in the fourth quarter just prior to Velasquez’s third field goal of the game. Quarterback Griffin Merritt hit Jake Seibert for a 25-yard score. Seibert then hit the all-important extra point to give the Lancers a 14-13 advantage. Things appeared in La Salle’s favor as both teams had no timeouts left by the time the Warriors got the ball back for their final drive.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Winton Woods on the game winning drive was its perseverance and dogged determination to get the victory. Senior quarterback Kenny Mayberry hit Cornell Beacham for what appeared to be the go ahead touchdown only to have it called back due to a holding penalty. Despite the setback, Mayberry still managed to complete a long pass to set up Velasquez and his huge kick.

It wasn’t one of the most the most pretty regional affairs ever played. The Warriors committed 13 penalties for 152 yards and had a turnover. La Salle turned the ball over twice and converted just 3-12 third and fourth down attempts in a game that featured 15 total punts. Both squads had touchdowns called back that could have been huge momentum changers in the contest.

La Salle bench during 2017 regional finals (photo by Greg Shoemaker/

Winton Woods won the time of possession battle by almost nine minutes. Their offense was paced by Mayberry who threw for 163 yards , ran for 64 yards and scored the teams only touchdown. The La Salle defense did a great job of making Warriors sophomore star running back Miyan Williams a non-factor. Williams managed just 28 yards on 11 carries after running for more than 500 yards and nine touchdowns over his past three games.

Seibert had three receptions for 108 yards and the one scoring catch from Merritt for the Lancers. Merritt finished with 137 yards through the air and another 52 on the ground including a 63-yard touchdown run.

As for Velasquez it was sweet vindication. Earlier this season, he clanked an overtime extra point off the goal post in one-point loss to Elder. It is the only point standing in the way of Winton Woods being undefeated.

Postgame Audio Interview: Chris Oats, Winton Woods

Winton Woods 0-10-3-3-16
La Salle 0-0-7-7-14

W: Velasquez 23 FG
W: Mayberry 20 run (Velasquez kick)
L: Merritt 63 run (Seibert kick)
W: Velasquez 35 FG
L: Seibert 25 pass from Merritt (Seibert kick)
W: Velasquez 28 FG

RECORDS: Winton Woods (12-1); La Salle (10-3)
UP NEXT: Winton Woods vs. Massillon Washington (10-3), Friday, November 27th, 7:30 p.m. at Columbus De Sales HS

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