May 26, 2016


High school football: Wellington 48, Black River 21

WELLINGTON — Maybe now Wellington’s football team will get some respect.
Maybe now the Dukes will turn a few heads.
Maybe now, well, maybe now it doesn’t matter.
Wellington shocked previously unbeaten Black River
48-21 Saturday in a Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division showdown that surprised just about everyone not wearing a Dukes uniform.
“I’m hoping we’ll get some respect, but honestly I don’t care,” said Wellington running back Clay Wright, who accounted for 176 yards of offense and scored four touchdowns. “We know how good we are. We played awesome.
“We were picked 11-0 to lose in (The Chronicle-Telegram). Everyone was thinking Black River was going to roll right through us. We showed we’re a tough team.”
That tough team counts losses to Norwayne, Avon and Firelands this year, who are a combined 21-0.
That got the attention of the Pirates (6-1, 3-1 PAC). Then again, so did the four turnovers that led to 21 first-half points for the Dukes (4-3, 3-1).
Dylan Weidrick started things with a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown just 2:05 in and a pick by Nick Sutherland near the start of the second quarter led to a 1-yard plunge from Chase Bealer.
That made it 28-7 with 8:50 remaining before intermission and suddenly everyone expecting a Black River walkover was in stunned silence.
“This was huge,” Weidrick said. “We had to get some respect in our conference.
“Everyone picked up their heads after we lost (20-12) to Firelands last week. We went in and worked hard and hoped to make a big statement.”
That they did and Weidrick spearheaded things. The junior, who had just 24 pass attempts coming in, went 6-for-6 for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
He picked up 47 yards on the ground and was part of a defense that kept the Pirates in check except for a few big plays.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had so much fun,” Weidrick said.
“If we can keep this going, we’ll be hard to stop.”
If Wellington can keep this going, the worst it might do is a tie atop the Stars Division as it undoubtedly picked up big computer points in Division IV, Region 14, where it currently sits 12th.
The win over the reigning conference champs came with some incredible numbers as the Dukes were up 28-7 with only two first downs.
That number finally succumbed as Wellington went to the ground, averaging 5.9 yards per gain. Every time Weidrick went back to pass, the Dukes picked up 22.8 yards.
Add it up and it wasn’t hard to see how Wellington came out on top.
“We emphasized how important this one was,” Dukes coach Matt Stoll said. “It really was our season. It was a championship game.
“We win and we’re still in it. Now, it’s important we keep the momentum and move forward.”
For the Pirates, who were led by Andrew Vaughn’s 174-yard, one-touchdown game, might have to win out to make the playoffs.
Still left on the schedule are Brookside (4-3, 2-2), Firelands (7-0, 4-0) and Keystone (0-7, 0-4).
“This loss balances the league right up,” Black River coach Al Young said. “These kids are good kids. We’ll bounce back. We took ourselves right out of it. Now we have some work to do.”
Contact Brad Bournival at 329-7135 or