Athens - Last season Winder-Barrow lost a tough defensive struggle against Clarke Central, this season, the defense for Winder-Barrow was nowhere to be found.
Winder-Barrow (4-4, 1-4 8-AAAA) made it a game in the first half but second half miscues helped Clarke Central (6-2-1, 5-1 region) to a 41-16 home win.
"I thought our effort was great," Winder-Barrow head coach Brian Allison said. "We played a team with a great running back, and (Terrance Scruggs) at fullback, they are great players, they score points on a lot of people."
Clarke Central racked up 358 total yards led by running back Darrieon Robinson, who broke a scoreless tie with a 1-yard run that gave Clarke Central a lead that it would never relinquish. After Winder-Barrow kicker Jesse McGee connected on a field goal, Robinson, who collected 175 yards on nine carries, broke through the line and ran down the field untouched to give the Gladiators a 14-3 lead.
Winder-Barrow fullback Zach Mann scored from 1-yard out, but a late Clarke Central score gave it a 20-10 advantage at the half.
The second half started poorly for Winder-Barrow as receiver Taylor Bradberry muffed a punt that would lead to a touchdown for Clarke Central as quarterback Beau Evans hit Parris Allen on a touchdown pass.
Winder-Barrow would cut the deficit to 11 on another Mann touchdown run, but it simply could not stop the mistakes.
Down by 18 in the fourth quarter, the Bulldoggs had a solid drive going until quarterback Greg Dixon, who completed just 5 of his 15 pass attempts, tried to throw the ball away to avoid a sack, but instead threw it to Clarke Central linebacker Terrance Fambro who ran 90 yards to the end zone to create the final margin.
Allison knew why things got out of hand in the second half,
"We tried to get out of our element by throwing the football against them, we threw an interception for a touchdown and they took it back and then we had Bradberry, who catches everything in the world, drop the punt," he said.
Winder-Barrow must win its next game against Madison County to have a shot at a play-in game.
Clarke Central 41
Clarke Central: Darreion Robinson 1 run (Adam Erickson kick) 4:16
Winder-Barrow: Jesse McGee 35 field goal 11:12
Clarke Central: Robinson 76 run (Erickson kick) 10:47
Winder-Barrow: Zack Mann 1 run (McGee kick) 4:46
Clarke Central: Terrance Scruggs 13 pass from Beau Evans (kick failed) 2:36
Clarke Central: Parris Allen 27 pass from Evans (Erickson kick) 8:27
Winder-Barrow: Mann 2 run (kick failed) 1:48
Clarke Central: Rodney Carter 37 pass from Marques Coleman (Erickson
Clarke Central: Terrence Fambro 90 interception return (Erickson kick) 4:09