BY GENE NARDI
The Wellington High School football squad hosted Park Vista High School on Friday, Nov. 14 in a Class 8A regional quarterfinal game, and the Wolverines dominated the Cobras 53-29.
The win also granted the Wolverines home field advantage against district foe Palm Beach Gardens High School in the regional semifinal game. Wellington defeated the Gators 23-17 on the road for the District 9-8A championship.
Wellington (10-1) jumped out of the gate with an early 14-0 lead, and never gave it up.
Quarterback Shannon Patrick first connected with receiver Jean Rene on a 12-yard pass, then running back Mike Howard scored on a 45-yard run. The Wolverines, known for throwing the ball, changed it up on the night, letting Howard grind out a season-high 182 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns.
Two turnovers by Wellington gave Park Vista some life, but the Wolverines had already tallied 30 points, and commanded a 33-15 halftime lead.
Wellington continued to fuel the offense when the defense kept shutting down the Cobras. Wellington intercepted Park Vista four times, two by Rene, one returned for a 50-yard score, and two by Ahmmon Richards.
Park Vista scored twice in the second half but could not go blow-for-blow with the dominating Wolverine offense, which put an additional 20 points on the board.
Even though the Wolverines tallied 95 total yards in penalties, they managed to grind out 415 combined yards and 19 first downs. Rene is credited with three scores, and Richards recorded a touchdown. Patrick completed 15 of 32 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns.
Wellington will host Palm Beach Gardens in the regional semifinal game Friday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
ABOVE: Wellington running back Christian Goss runs for a gain.