by Tanner Ford, wellington.cc
After a tough stretch of road games the Crusaders made their home debut against the Labette County Grizzlies. The evening got off to a shocking start. The Crusaders started in their traditional red jerseys for warmups, then when it came time to run across the bridge and begin the game they pulled a jersey switch donning new dark gray jerseys!
The Crusaders came out hot in the first quarter torching Labette for 3 early touchdowns, 2 by Carter Burnett, to take a 20-6 lead. Wellington struck first within the first minute of the second quarter with a 16 yard touchdown reception by Sky Branam; the Grizzlies answered back with a big 59 yard rushing touchdown. Later on in the quarter, Axl Norris kept the momentum on Wellington's side by intercepting a pass and taking it to the house for a touchdown. Labette County ended the half with a late 37 yard touchdown pass to make the score 32-18 going into halftime.
Wellington's offense was still firing on all cylinders in the third quarter with Bannister throwing two more long touchdown passes, connecting with Sky Branam for 32 yards and Carter Burnett for 67 yards. Labette County added a 43 yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter as well. The Crusaders brought out the backups to get some valuable varsity experience to close out the game.
There were several offensive standouts from this one. Dusty Bannister tied the school record with 5 touchdown passes and totaled 264 yards and Nick Giefer rushed for over 100 yards in his third straight game. The Crusader receiving duo of Sky Branam and Carter Burnett were lethal with Branam catching 6 balls for 105 yards with 2 touchdowns and Burnett catching 3 touchdowns for 137 yards on 5 catches. The defense limited the damage and had some timely turnovers to keep the Grizzlies at bay.
It was an impressive showing by the Crusaders in front of their home fans, but now it is time to look forward to El Dorado as they come to Wellington for our Homecoming game on Friday, September 29th at 7:00 pm.
#12 Dusty Bannister 16/28, 264 yards, 5 TD's
#13 Trenton Elmore 1/1, 13 yards
#25 Nick Giefer 16 carries, 155 yards, TD
#5 Brody Weir 2 carries, 22 yards
#12 Dusty Bannister 6 carries, 18 yards
#1 Kenny Redford 3 carries, 17 yards
#14 Evan Kelly 1 carry, 2 yards
#44 Parker Thornton 1 carry, 4 yards
#13 Trenton Elmore 2 carries, -2 yards
#10 Sky Branam 6 receptions, 105 yards, 2 TD's
#8 Carter Burnett 5 receptions, 137 yards, 3 TD's
#22 Axl Norris 2 receptions, 15 yards
#86 Maddox Black 3 receptions, 0 yards
#16 Cole Zeka 1 reception, 13 yards
#25 Nick Giefer 1 reception, 7 yards
#22 Axl Norris INT, TD
#12 Dusty Bannister 1/46 yards
#20 Riley Nichols 2/93 yards
#32 Milo Elder 4/5 PAT's
#10 Sky Branam 1/11 yards
#44 Parker Thornton 1/0 yards
#1 Kenny Redford 1/11 yards
#86 Maddox Black 1/12 yards
Photos by Katie Ford/wellington.cc