Winnfield Tiger Football

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THE WINNFIELD VS. JONESBORO-HODGE SERIES (1919 to 2017)

     Winnfield, Louisiana and Jonesboro-Hodge, Louisiana are separated by 24 pine-tree filled miles.  There is little that separates the two when it comes to high school football.  To complicate matters, both schools use the Tiger as their mascot.  For each school, the other school represents the one school that each program has played the most.  Through the 2017 season, the two programs have met 90 times on the football field, easily the most number of times each school has faced any opponent.  Also, the two schools have faced each other every year since the 1945 season, a period that covered 73 consecutive years through the 2017 season.  That is one of the longest-running series in the state.  The overall series record shows just how close the series is, with Winnfield holding a 47-41-2 lead in the series. For Winnfield, those wins and losses represent the most wins and losses they have against any opponent.  

     Winnfield has an overall 27-16-1 record in home games against Jonesboro-Hodge in all home venues and a commanding 2O-7-0 record in home games played in Stokes-Walker Stadium, which opened in 1964.  Jonesboro-Hodge holds a 25-20-1 record against Winnfield in games played on their home field.

      Winnfield and Jonesboro-Hodge have opened the season against each other 28 times, with Winnfield winning 18 of those season-openers and Jonesboro winning 10.

     The two have been in the same district 27 different years.  Winnfield holds a lead in district games with a slim 14-13-0 margin.  Those district games have come in four phases.  The first phase occurred between 1946 and 1954.  During that period the two played nine consecutive years and Winnfield only went 2-7-0 against Jonesboro.  The second short phase occurred between 1962 and 1965.  Winnfield did not win any of the four district games played in that four year stretch.  The third phase occurred between 1973 and 1984 when the two were in the same district 12 consecutive years.  Winnfield dominated the series during this phase with a 10-2 record. The two teams are in the midst of the fourth phase that began in 2013.  Winnfield  won both the 2013 and 2014 contest.  

     As for the Winnfield vs. Jonesboro-Hodge series itself, there have been a few blowout wins – see Winnfield (1919, 1928, 1974, 1982, 1995, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2013) or Jonesboro (1937, 1938, 1951, 1953, 1993).  However, that has not been the norm.  In about a quarter of the games played (25 of 90) the final outcome of the game was decided by one touchdown or less and in close to half of the games (40 of 90) the final outcomes was two touchdowns or less.  Winnfield has played in seven overtime games in the history of the program.  Three of those came against Jonesboro-Hodge, with Jonesboro winning the first (1977) by a score of 7-0, Winnfield winning the second (1979) by a 7-6 margin and Winnfield taking the third in 2009 by a 20-13 margin.

         Series progression summary: The following shows how the series record has progressed.  Winnfield won the inaugural game played between the two, that coming in 1919.  During the 1920s Winnfield won four of five games played and the two split the other to give Winnfield a 4-0-1 series record at the end of the decade. Winnfield then lost the next six games to Jonesboro (all in the 1930s), the longest losing streak that Winnfield has faced in the series.  That moved the series record to 6-4-1 in favor of Jonesboro. Coming into the 2009 season Winnfield had not been at or above .500 in the series record since then.  Jonesboro pretty much dominated the series in the 1940s and 1950s as they had a 14-6-1 record over Winnfield in those two decades.  That moved the series record to 20-10-2 in favor of Jonesboro as the series moved into the 1960s. The two schools split the ten games played in the 1960s, moving the series record to 25-15-2.  Then, it was over the course of the 1970s and 1980s and Wininfield closed the gap in the series record significantly. Winnfield won five of seven games played between 1970 and 1977 to move the series record to 27-20-2 in favor or Jonesboro.  The two teams played some classic district battles between 1978 and 1983 and Winnfield won all six of those to move the series record to 27-26-2 in favor of Winnfield.  With a chance to finally get the series record back to .500 with a win in 1984, Winnfield lost that game by a five point margin and also lost four of the next six games played between the two in the 1980s which allowed Jonesboro-Hodge to move into the 1990s with a 31-28-2 record. Jonesboro-Hodge won five of seven games played between 1990 and 1996 to widen their command of the series record to 36-30-2.  Then, beginning with a win in the 1998 game, Winnfield reeled off seven straight wins. Jonesboro snapped that losing streak with a 12-0 win in 2005 and gained a win in 2006 after Winnfield was forced to forfiet an 8-6 win because of the use of an ineligible player.  Winnfield  has won ten straight since 2006 to move seven games ahead in the series at 47-40-2. Since the 2000 season, Winnfield has won 15 of the 17 games played between the two.

     Games - The series is marked by decisive wins for district titles, more than one fight (on both the field and by the stands), a “skunking” of a team bus, upsets and comebacks.  There have been two interesting periods in the series that deal with season-ending and season-beginning games.  Between 1979 and 1982 the two schools were not only in the same district, but the game between the two was played the final week of the regular season with the district crown on the line.  In each of those four games Winnfield defeated Jonesboro.  In the 1980 game, though Winnfield defeated Jonesboro by a score of 14-12, and even though Winnfield and Jonesboro ended the year with identical single-loss district records, a third member of the district (Mansfield) also ended the year with a single loss, having already lost to Jonesboro by 17 point margin, but having beaten Winnfield by an 8-point margin.  That was before wild cards and power points, so the method used to break ties in district standings was comparable score.  Since Mansfield had defeated Winnfield by an 8-point margin earlier in the season (making that the only district loss Winnfield would face between 1978 and 1983) , it would take a 9-point win by Winnfield over Jonesboro-Hodge to secure the runner-up spot in the district.  And, since Jonesboro had defeated Mansfield by 17 points, Winnfield would have to exceed that margin to overtake Jonesboro-Hodge as the district champion.  No matter the outcome, Jonesboro-Hodge was in the playoffs.  Mansfield was in the playoffs by either a Jonesboro-Hodge defeat of Winnfield or a win by Winnfield of 8 points or less.  For one of the few times in Tiger football history a Tiger coach was playing for points as much or more than he was playing for a win.   Winnfield did in fact defeat Jonesboro, but the final score was 14-12, not enough to gain the Tigers entry into the playoffs, where Jonesboro not only competed but went on to compete in the Class AA state title game.  

     The next year, the two teams were again in a situation where they met in the final game of the year to decide the district crown, only in 1981 the winner of the game would be the district champion and the loser would be the runner up.  Jonesboro jumped out to a 29-0 second quarter lead thanks mainly to a fumble-prone Winnfield team.  Winnfield then staged the biggest comeback in the program’s history by scoring 34 unanswered points to overtake Jonesboro and walk away with not only a 34-29 win, but another district crown.  

     When the two teams met in the season-openers for both the 1988 and 1989 seasons, the two schools weren’t in the same district.  However, enthusiasm in season-openers is usually sky-high, and particularly so when these two met.  In both of these years Winnfield was playing in Class AAA, while Jonesboro was in Class AA.  The Tigers of Winnfield defeated the Tigers of Jonesboro in both of those games, which for Winnfield was only one of four wins in the 1988 season and one of eight wins in the 1989 season.  What made those wins all the more special for Winnfield fans was the fact that Jonesboro went on to win the Class AA state crown in each of those years.

     There have been several times when one program came into the contest with a much better record than the other but went down to defeat.  Likewise, there have been few times when either program has been able to establish any sort of winning-streak in the series.  In fact, there have only been five times in the series when either team established a winning streak that lasted five years or longer, with Winnfield holding three of those and Jonesboro-Hodge hold two of those streaks: Winnfield's steaks include 10 straight (2007-2016), 7 straight (1998-2004) and 6 straight 1978-1983).  Jonesboro's streaks include 9 straight (1930 and 1938) and 5 straight (1949 and 1953).

    Rushing – The best individual rushing performance by a Tiger player against Jonesboro-Hodge came in 2016 when T. J. Meyers gained 252 yards on 19 carries. Cornelius Patterson has the longest scoring run a Winnfield player has ever had against Jonesboro-Hodge, that coming in 1999 when he went 94 yards for one of this two rushing touchdowns that night. It is rare for a Tiger back to rush for four or more touchdowns in a single game, as that has only happened just over two dozen times. Travion Johnson added his name to that list with four rushing touchdowns against Jonesboro-Hodge in the 2004 game, with two of those going for more than 48 yards.

     Passing and Receiving – In the 1971 contest QB Steve Adams set a new school record with 228 passing yards in that 34-7 win. That mark has only been surpassed twice. In that same contest Jerry Keen completed a halfback pass for 13 yards to give the team 241 passing yards. That set and remains the single-game team passing yardage record at the school. Adams’ favorite target in that 1971 contest was tight end Greg Wagoner, who caught 9 of Adams’ 14 completions. That too set a school receiving record, upping Wagoner’s own school record of 8 catches from two weeks earlier against Leesville. Wagoner’s mark was tied twice by Eric Caldwell during the 1986 season and Freddie King set a new school mark with 11 catches against Bunkie in 1998. Another rarity is games in which a receiver catches two or more passes for touchdowns. Jared Beville joined that group with two TD receptions in the 1999 Winnfield vs. Jonesboro-Hodge contest – the same game in which Cornelius Patterson rushed for 228 yard.

     Returns – The longest returns for a touchdown by a Winnfield player in the Jonesboro-Hodge series include a 67 yard punt return by John Wayne Williams in the 1971. That was one of Williams’ five school-record punt returns for a touchdown that year. The other longest scores by return in the series include an 87 kickoff return by E. J. Smith in 1991, an 80 yard interception return by Andrew Riggs in the championship 1982 season and a 46 yard fumble return by Monte Jarnigan in 1969.

     Team Offense or Defense – The high water mark for team passing came in the aforementioned 1971 contest. The most team rushing yards gained by a Winnfield squad against Jonesboro-Hodge came in 1991 when the locals ran for 469 yards in a 38-35 loss. The most total yards came in the 47-6 regular season finale of the 1982 season when Winnfield gained 488 total yards. Easily the best defensive game ever played by a Winnfield team against Jonesboro-Hodge came in 1972, when Winnfield held Jonesboro-Hodge to 1 first down (still a school record), 4 yards rushing and 21 yards passing. Winnfield secured a 19-0 win in that contest and recorded the program’s 17 consecutive regular season win over a three-season period.  That is still a school record. In that stretch the respective Tiger defenses posted eight shutouts and allowed only one team (Jena, 1971) to post more than one touchdown.  

      Both schools are from small towns, both towns depend on the timber industry as the primary economic base, both schools use the Tiger as their mascot and both schools wear the colors red and white.  In large measure, the Winnfield – Jonesboro-Hodge series is what small town high school football is all about.

           SCORES

YEAR            SCORE           WINNER

1919                64 – 0              Winnfield

1923                13 – 0              Winnfield

1925                  0 – 0 

1927                28 – 0              Winnfield

1928                50 – 0              Winnfield

1930                  0 – 21            Jonesboro

1932                  0 – 27            Jonesboro

1933                  0 – 18            Jonesboro

1934                  7 – 14            Jonesboro

1937                  0 – 57            Jonesboro

1938                  0 – 46            Jonesboro

1939                  3 – 12            Winnfield

1940                (1)  0 – 0         

1940                (2)7 -12           Jonesboro

1941                  7 – 14            Jonesboro

1942                25 – 33            Jonesboro

1943                19 – 7              Winnfield

1945                  0 – 33            Jonesboro

1946                  0 – 12            Jonesboro

1947                  0 – 7              Jonesboro

1948                  7 – 0              Winnfield

1949                  0 – 37            Jonesboro

1950                  0 –12             Jonesboro

1951                  0 – 40            Jonesboro

1952                  7 –16             Jonesboro

1953                12 – 52            Jonesboro

1954                14 – 7              Winnfield

1955                  7 – 21            Jonesboro

1956                32 – 19            Winnfield

1957                  7 – 28            Jonesboro

1958                18 – 32            Jonesboro

1959                  6 – 0              Winnfield

 

1960                20 – 7              Winnfield

1961                39 – 28            Winnfield

1962                14 – 33            Jonesboro

1963                  0 –13             Jonesboro

1964                  0 –21             Jonesboro

1965                  0 – 34            Jonesboro

1966                14 – 13            Winnfield

1967                  0 –13             Jonesboro

1968                14 – 0              Winnfield

1969                28 – 20            Winnfield

1970                  8 – 27            Jonesboro

1971                34 – 7              Winnfield

1972                19 – 0              Winnfield

1973                  7 –13             Jonesboro

1974                41 – 6              Winnfield

1975                23 – 8              Winnfield

1976                32 – 6              Winnfield

1977                  0 – 7(ot)         Jonesboro

1978                41 – 12            Winnfield

1979                  7 – 6(ot)         Winnfield

1980                14 – 12            Winnfield

1981                34 – 29            Winnfield

1982                47 – 6              Winnfield

1983                19 – 14            Winnfield

1984                14 – 19            Jonesboro

1985                  7 – 13            Jonesboro

1986                  0 – 7              Jonesboro

1987                  0 – 28            Jonesboro

1988                13 – 12            Winnfield

1989                14 – 6              Winnfield

1990                20 – 38            Jonesboro

1991                35 – 38            Jonesboro

1992                12 – 21            Jonesboro

1993                  0 – 40            Jonesboro

1994                32 – 8              Winnfield

1995                57 – 6              Winnfield

1996                  9 – 30            Jonesboro

1997                20 – 41            Jonesboro

1998                32 – 6              Winnfield

1999                38 – 15            Winnfield

2000                38 – 7              Winnfield

2001                28 –14             Winnfield

2002                28 – 0              Winnfield

 

2003                44 - 14            Winnfield

 

2004                34 - 0               Winnfield

 

2005                  0 – 12            Jonesboro

2006                  8 -   6            Jonesboro (though Winnfield outscored J-H, this game was later forfeited, as result of Winnfield using ineligible player)

2007                32-  6              Winnfield

2008                14-13               Winnfield

2009                 20-13 (OT)     Winnfield

2010                 41-14              Winnfield 

2011                  48-0                Winnfield

2012                  45-0                Winnfield 

2013                  31-0                 Winnfield

2014                  17-0                 Winnfield

2015                  43-12               Winnfield

2016                  33-8                 Winnfield

2017                  21-28                Jonesboro

 

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