You could feel this victory coming on...days ago, maybe weeks ago. This group of young men and coaches are in the groove. W's are the nectar of life - sure tastes good!! Congratulations for the 34-6 season opening win over the Clearwater Indians.
The atmosphere was festive and a bit wet early on but that soon passed. An Eagle-Med Helicopter delivered the GAME BALL to the field and then the teams engaged.
Wellington came out in an accelerated mode and moved the ball well...the pace was rapid and the execution was good. Clearwater was on their heels early and was never really able to right themselves effectively for any sustained period. An Indian drive midway through the first quarter ended with a Grey Hatfield interception on Clearwater's 6 yd line and then on the first play from scrimmage, Junior Joe Ybarra put the IRONDUKES on the scoreboard for 6 - a Karsten Gill extra-point attempt failed but not to worry, didn't happen again and he wound up hitting 4 of 5 on the evening! Good stuff Karsten!
Wellington's defense forced another punt situation for the Indians, the 1 yard punt left the ball near midfield and soon thereafter, Senior Cade Phelps connected with Junior DeAndre Washington for a 53 yd TD reception, PAT by Gill - GOOD...score Wellington 13 Clearwater 00 with 3:52 still left in the 1st quarter. That quarter would end without further scoring and the 2nd quarter began with a Clearwater punt and then a one-two punch by the Crusaders...punch one, a 56 yd run by Junior Grey Hatfield to the Clearwater 32. Soon thereafter, punch two, a 30 yard TD Pass to Junior DeAndre Washington, PAT by Gill - GOOD...score Wellington 20 Clearwater 00.
A subsequent drive by Clearwater was stopped at the Wellington 22 by a Junior Chi Barton interception. The 2nd qtr. played out, the IRONDUKES were leading 20-00.
The halftime break didn't seem to affect the mo of the show - the Crusaders were on a roll and were not to be denied. After deferring early on, the Indians received the kick at the start of the 3rd qtr but couldn't capitalize and then to make matters worse for the team in blue, the punt was flubbed and Wellington ended up with the ball on the Clearwater 14 yd line. That's just a hop, skip and a jump for Junior Joe Ybarra who scampers into the endzone for the TD on the next play - throw another Gill PAT on the fire and the score is suddenly nearly well done, Wellington 27 Clearwater 00 with just over 10 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.
Subsequent drive or two by the Indians produced no points and after failing to get a first down themselves, the Crusaders were forced to punt. Junior Trayson Probst nails it and sticks the Indians on their own 1 yd line, 1st down and 10. They never got to use downs 2, 3 or 4 - the snap on first down was flubbed and the unattended football was suddenly attended to by Wellington and a 6 point TD - Gill PAT - GOOD. The score, still in the 3rd qtr. is now 34-00.
At the 5:08 mark of the 3rd, Clearwater connected on a 70 yd pass play for 6 but the PAT was no good. Nonetheless, the TD sparked a little light for the Indians but Wellington still held onto a significant lead 34-6 and extinguished that light quite quickly. The teams exchanged possessions in the 4th qtr without scoring, Sophomore Zander Vargas had an interception to deny the Indians any paydirt visits late in the game. It would end up at 34-6, the Crusaders had their first football victory since Week 7, Oct 16, 2015 at Rose Hill. (Wgtn 44 RH 20) - Coach Zane Aguilar had his first head coaching victory after taking the reigns in 2016. In a post-game interview with the media, Coach Aguilar credited his seniors with smart play, his underclassmen with exceptional abilities to come in and play early and make a contribution. He also indicated this victory was the biggest football event for him in his life full of football events, including State Championships and everything else apparently. A proud moment for Coach Aguilar, a proud moment for his assistant coaches and players and a proud moment for Wellington fans across the land. Wellington is back in the win column...it feels good, it's where these young men belong.
Next up - EL DORADO @ Sellers Park - Friday, September 8th - Kickoff at 7PM - IT'S YOUTH NIGHT TOO! If you don't want to wait that long to get another WELLINGTON FOOTBALL FIX, the Freshmen/Sophomores will host Clearwater Monday at 6PM at Sellers Park - come out and support the younger IRONDUKES - should be a great game!!
Grey Hatfield - 87 yds
Joe Ybarra - 55 yds 3 TD's
Cade Phelps - 16 yds
Deyton Araujo - 14 yds
Cade Phelps - 20/136 yds 2 TD's 2 INT
DeAndre Washington 5/120yds 2 TD's
Silas Popplewell 2/16 yds
Karsten Gill 4/5 (NO FG ATTEMPTS)
Trayson Probst 5/196 yds (39 yd. avg)
RUSHING - 172 yds
RECEIVING - 136 yds
TOTALS - 308 yds
OTHER AREA SCORES
Andale 28 Andover Central 21 / Augusta 39 Winfield 13 / Campus 48 Ark City 20 / Collegiate 42 Rose Hill 00 / Maize South 47 Circle 00 / Mulvane 33 El Dorado 00 / McPherson 33 Buhler 21 / Chaparral 57 Independent 00 / Conway Springs 98 Belle Plaine 18 / Caldwell 50 Udall 20 / Oxford 60 South Haven 14