Black Team QB Jeff Winterfield (5) runs the ball against the Gold Team during the 27th annual Northwest Ohio Regional All-Star Football Game July 14, in Perrysburg, Ohio. THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
Someday quarterback Jeff Winterfield will tell his grandchildren of his amazing exploits in his last appearance on a football field and the Oak Harbor graduate won’t have to exaggerate.
Winterfield penned the perfect ending to his high school career as he threw five touchdown passes in the annual Northwest Ohio Regional All-Star Game on Friday night. Winterfield completed 7 of 11 passes for 239 yards in leading his Black team to a 42-12 rout of the Gold team in Perrysburg.
IN PICTURES: NW Ohio Regional All-Star Game
Winterfield connected on TD passes of 62, 46, 45, 20, and 58 yards. The left-handed QB stood out among more than 100 recently graduated players selected to participate in the event attended by about 2,200 spectators at Steinecker Stadium.
Winterfield, who has enlisted in the Air Force, played his last football game and helped his team build a 35-0 cushion at the half with four touchdown strikes.
“It’s great to go out on a good note like this. This is it. I’m very happy with the way I ended it,” said Winterfield, who was named the Black team’s MVP. “I had no idea how this night would go, so this is awesome.”
Woodmore graduate J.T. Atkin and Jacob Miller of Ayersville each caught two of Winterfield’s touchdown passes. Atkin’s was on the end of the final two TDs (20 and 58 yards).
Winterfield and Miller connected on a razzle-dazzle 62-yard TD pass on the second play of the game on a double pass. Gibsonburg QB Ryan Clark threw to Winterfield in the flat and Winterfield aired it out to Miller for an instant 7-0 lead.
“I give a ton of credit to my receivers in this game. They were very fast and they can get open,” Winterfield said. “I thank my linemen, too. Without all of them, I couldn’t make those plays.”
Clark scored on a four-yard QB keeper for a 14-0 lead and then Winterfield hooked up with Kane Gomez of Gibsonburg on a 46-yard TD for a 21-0 edge. Winterfield then found Miller open again for a 45-yard TD and a 28-0 cushion.
Northwood defensive back Tyler Baer led the Black defense with two interceptions.
“My defense came together. When I got the second one it was even better because we played as a team. It made the whole experience 10 times better,” Baer said.
Baer’s former high school teammate, Trevor Mack, also had an interception.
“Trevor Mack is a wonderful player and he always pushed me to do my best. He motivated me to represent my school. I know [Northwood coach Ken James] is very happy with how we played,” said Baer, who will attend Owens Community College.
Eastwood graduate Michael Burket was named MVP of the Gold team after posting one tackle for loss along with a sack.
Tom Ferguson, the former longtime coach at Rossford, led the Black team for the 15th season. Ferguson said he thought it may have been his last all-star game but he has not officially decided to give up coaching in the event. His staff consisted of other retired area coaches.
“I wait for this every year,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to work with all these great coaches and kids. We only have seven and a half hours of practice time coming in. I think we have success because these coaches know what they are doing. I thought we were evenly matched and it would be a very close ball game. We jumped out ahead, but the Gold team fought to the end.”
Gomez had two long kick returns for the Black team, including a punt return that set up his touchdown reception. For the Black defense, Trey Zimmer of Patrick Henry, Aaron Hazlett of Swanton, and Alex Andrews of Napoleon each had tackles for loss. Start’s K’juan Chandler also had a sack for the Black.
The Gold squad got on the board when former Cardinal Stritch quarterback Drew Staczek teamed up with Maumee’s Donquaveous Wyatt on a 55-yard TD pass. Wyatt made a spin move after making his catch and sprinted in for the score that made it 35-6 in the third quarter.
Perrysburg graduate Noah Lenz made the home crowd happy with a 15-yard TD run for the Gold late in the contest. Also for the Gold team, Liberty Center’s Christian Chambers had an interception, while Wauseon’s Jacob Raabe had two sacks and another tackle for loss. Braden Womack (Anthony Wayne), Bryson Powell (Rogers), and Jesse Beverly (Delta) each recorded a tackle for loss.
The game played out under perfect weather conditions and Winterfield said he made a lot of new friends through the week of practice.
“This is such a great memory,” he said.