The Wellington High School football team hosted Weston’s Cypress Bay High School in the annual spring game held Friday, May 19. The Wolverines rallied late in the fourth quarter to defeat the Lightning 16-14.
In the first half, both teams struggled to manage mistakes and penalties, but spring football often exposes these issues after a hiatus from the field. The brief spring season is specific for this purpose, to work on the things needed to improve for the fall season.
The Wolverines entered halftime holding onto a 9-8 lead. Running back Mike Massimino initiated the lead, catching a touchdown pass from quarterback Connor Rogers on the team’s third drive of the game to go up 7-0. Wellington extended its lead with a second-quarter safety, sacking the Cypress Bay quarterback in the end zone. The play gave the Wolverines a 9-0 advantage.
Just before the half ended, the Lightning closed the margin with a deep jump-ball touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone. Cypress Bay converted its two-point attempt to make it a one-point game as the half ended with Wellington holding on 9-8.
“Defense didn’t do a bad job,” Wellington head coach Tom Abel said. “We need to tweak a few things, and we are off. We will be just fine.”
Both teams continued their struggling ways offensively, trying to manage through miscues. Wellington coordinated efforts, reaching inside the Cypress Bay red zone twice in the third quarter, but came up empty.
The Lightning took its first lead of the contest off a 25-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-9. Two-way player Mark Anthony Richards broke up the two-point after-pass attempt in the end zone, limiting the Lightning to just six points on the score, which later made the difference in the game.
The Wolverines relied on two freshmen on the final drive. Quarterback Austin Wallace entered the game and put together a 46-yard no-huddle drive capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Hector in the end zone for the go-ahead score. The kick was good and gave Wellington a 16-14 lead.
Cypress Bay felt the pressure of a fourth-quarter running clock, squeezing the team to make quick plays that landed them just beyond midfield. A tough Wellington defense combined with the ticking of the clock ended Cypress Bay’s chance of recapturing the lead, and Wellington sealed the 16-14 victory. The teams will regroup in the off-season to gear up for the fall.
ABOVE: Wellington running back Bryce Burnstein breaks tackles to move the chains.