Wolverines Narrowly Defeat Visiting South Fork 45-36


Wellington High School’s varsity football squad held its ground in hosting South Fork High School on Friday, Sept. 12, taking a closely fought 45-36 win.

Wellington (2-1), coming off a devastating loss to West Boca High School, rebounded by handing the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.

Wolverines quarterback Shannon Patrick led the way and completed 19 passes in 38 attempts for 283 yards and five touchdowns. The Wellington offense also recorded 21 first downs on the night, but the win didn’t come without a challenge.

Wellington marched down the field on its opening possession in just four plays, with a 64-yard drive for a 22-yard touchdown pass from Patrick to receiver Ahmmon Richards (a Miami commit). Alex Ng’s kick gave the Wolverines an early 7-0 lead.

Wellington recovered a South Fork fumble in midfield on the ensuing drive, but a horse-collar tackle penalty gave the Bulldogs back the ball, which they eventually converted into a score. Their kick was blocked, though, and the Wolverines held on to a one-point lead 7-6.

Turnovers plagued both sides during the first half. Wellington safety Mike Howard intercepted a Bulldog pass and returned it 24 yards, which set up Ng for a 29-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-6.

The lead would change twice in the first half. South Fork responded with a 22-yard touchdown run to take its first lead of the game 13-10, but it would be brief.

Wellington responded immediately when Patrick found Austin Gilman on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Ng’s kick pushed Wellington back into the lead 17-13.

Wellington defensive end Tyler Somers picked up a Bulldog fumble and returned it 5 yards to set up Patrick’s 21-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jean Rene. Ng’s kick extended Wellington’s lead to 24-13 at the end of the first half.

In the second half, Wellington continued to pound the South Fork defense through the air with two third-quarter scores to extend the Wolverines’ lead to 38-13. South Fork refused to fold, however, orchestrating a comeback to pull within 10 at 38-28 midway through the fourth quarter.

The Wolverines managed another score to regain a confident 45-28 lead, but again the Bulldogs fired back to climb within nine. South Fork just could not outlast the Wolverine passing attack, and Wellington held on to the 45-36 victory.

“Nobody believes in us, but us,” Wellington head coach Thomas Abel told his squad at halftime. “We’re working so hard, and we’ll take it week by week.”

Richards had six receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Rene hauled in five passes for 87 yards and two scores. Gilman is credited with four grabs for 67 yards and a touchdown. Howard tallied 48 combined yards and a score.

Wellington is 2-1 on the season and will travel down to take on West Broward High School on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

ABOVE: Wellington running back Mike Howard powers forward through the South Fork defense.