On Friday, Aug. 23, the Wellington High School football team traveled to Palm Beach Lakes High School to open the regular season, falling 41-15 to the host Rams.
With scattered rain showers through most of the game, Wellington trailed early, as Palm Beach Lakes notched the game’s first scores. Behind 14-0 in the second quarter, Wellington managed a safety when the defensive front pressured the Palm Beach Lakes line, forcing the snap to go over the quarterback’s head and out of the end zone.
The Wolverines then added to the score with a Morgan Suarez 24-yard field goal, but still trailed 14-5 early in the second quarter. The Rams extended their lead, adding one more score just prior to halftime, taking a 21-5 lead into the locker room.
Wellington’s offense, known for throwing the ball, had difficulty connecting through the night. The Wolverines did sustain a drive early in the third quarter, assisted by penalties from the Rams, but the team was unable to convert the positive yards into points. The Rams took over possession and added a score, making it 28-5. Palm Beach Lakes contributed another score shortly after a Wellington three-and-out with a 25-yard touchdown pass to sit on a 35-5 advantage.
Wellington found some offensive wheels on their next possession, getting close enough to add another Suarez field goal, this one from an impressive 47 yards out. The ball sailed through the uprights and made the score 35-8. The Wolverines came right back to recover their second onside kick on the night. However, it did little to help the offense when the quarterback to receiver link-up faltered. The Rams were able to cap a drive with a 14-yard quarterback keeper to take a 41-8 lead with less than five minutes remaining to play.
Wellington, hampered with injuries, made personnel adjustments in efforts to spark the offense. Quarterback Ryan Anthony led the Wolverine offense on a 55-yard drive that was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tristan Abinet. The point after brought the score to 41-15. Running back Stephen Cortez was also instrumental in the ground attack on the final drive for the Wolverines. However, the Rams ran out the remaining seconds on the clock to seal the win.