Lost fumbles, penalties and players not knowing when to be on the field. One player returned a punt and was taken down by his own teammate who wasn’t paying attention. Last Friday at Wellington High School, it was easy to decipher which the nationally known football program was, Pahokee, and which wasn’t, Wellington.
Wellington completed only a couple of passes and couldn’t get any offensive momentum, losing to the visiting Pahokee Blue Devils 35-0. Blue Devils quarterback Jay Hobson ran all over the Wolverines, scoring three touchdowns. Khalil Patrick and Jonathan Jordan also scored touchdowns for the Blue Devils.
“We’re young. We had a lot of our second and third teamers in most of the second half. They hung with them,” WHS head coach Tom Abel said. “I’m very proud of them. We’re young and only going to get better and better and better.”
Pahokee didn’t waste any time getting on the board. Hobson broke a 43-yard run on the Blue Devils second play from scrimmage, bringing the ball to the Wolverines’ 25 yard line. That set up a Jonathan Jordan 2-yard touchdown run later in the drive, giving the Blue Devils their first lead at 7-0.
On Pahokee’s next possession, Hobson scored his first touchdown of the night. The quarterback rolled left out of the pocket, planted his foot like he was going to run up the middle, but ran left and into the end zone. David Vazquez kicked the extra point to extend the lead to 14-0.
Pahokee played to another 14-0 period in the second quarter. Patrick caught a touchdown with 9:02 remaining in the second quarter, extending the lead to 21-0. Wellington fumbled on the return, giving the ball to the Blue Devils once again.
On a later drive, Hobson broke several tackles to get into the end zone. This gave the Blue Devils a 28-0 lead.
Abel reached deeper into his bench in the second half, playing second and third teamers. The younger players answered the call. Pahokee scored only one touchdown in the second half, while Wellington was still unable to score. With 6:05 remaining in the game, Hobson scored on a long 73-yard run, extending the lead to 35-0.
Abel pointed to Wellington quarterback Logan Rodgers, a rising sophomore, receivers Aman Richards and Gene Rene, and defenders Devin Gelade and Thomas Oporto as high points for the Wolverines.
It should also be noted that the Wellington fans still showed up in respectable numbers. Despite the home team getting blown out, roughly 70 percent of the home bleachers were full. The visiting side bleachers were also full with Pahokee fans.
“The biggest hurdle I’ve got to overcome is keeping these kids positive so their heads are up and keeping people home and keep building,” Abel said. “Because people start leaving the school and they think there’s something better out there. We cannot build anything or keep a close family until everybody realizes I can get us all on the same page. We’re getting there.”
ABOVE: A Wellington linebacker brings down Pahokee’s Jonathan Joseph.