Undefeated #3 State ranked Wellington came to Clarendon and defeated the home town Broncos 42-22 on a cold blustery evening. They ran their record to 7-0 while Clarendon fell to 6-2.
Clarendon 8 9 6 8-22
Wellington 8 12 8 14-42
It was an honest outcome as the deep power running game of the Skyrockets wore down a game, but thin Broncos defensive line. There were a lot of positives to be taken from this game by Clarendon though including keeping turnovers to a minimum and much better discipline which resulted in fewer penalties than weeks past.
Both teams were allergic to punting (once each) as well as to deep kickoffs. In fact almost every drive for each respective team were failed on side kicks which saw both squads start from midfield on the night.
Wellington got on the board first as Junior running back Marc Ramirez scored on a 12 yard touchdown run, followed by him running in a 2 point conversion as well. Sanchez is the best running back in the district, combining power with an ability to make tacklers miss. He doesn't have blinding speed, but he's work horse. He had 4 touchdown on the night and well over 200 yards rushing.
Later in the 1st quarter, Clarendon tied the score as they had an 8 play, 60 yard drive culminating in a 31 yard passing touchdown from Junior QB Brock Hatley to Junior Lamarcus Pinegar. Pinegar then ran in the 2 point conversion to knot the score at 8-8 as the first quarter came to a close.
The one opportunity that Clarendon had to take a lead was on a long drive down to the Wellington 8 yard line but it was snuffed out by a false start penalty and a subsequent turnover on downs. The Skyrockets had the games defining drive as they went 92 yards, mostly between the tackles topped off by a 35 yard TD gallop by Ramirez. Wellington stuck to smash mouth football with a double tight end formation and later in the game dusted off the wishbone. QB Creighton Killian scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 1 yard keeper. The half ended with Wellington holding a 20-8 edge.
Nobody enjoys losing but I believe this loss will make the Broncos a better team come playoff time. They were outmanned but didn't quit. Wellington is ranked #3 for a reason. This physical and mental maturation could serve the Broncos well as they look to advance through the playoffs.
The teams traded touchdowns in the 3rd quarter. Clarendon's score was a one yard keeper by Hatley but it was his arm that set up the drive as he threw back to back 25 yard completions to Pinegar and then to freshman Quay Brown. It should be noted that Clarendon is a young team. Freshman Lyric Smith also significant snaps last night.
The 4th quarter was a war of attrition as you could see the Clarendon defense running out of gas. Wellington added two more scores but Clarendon didn't quit, notching the game's last score with a 15 yard TD pass, this time from Hatley to Sophomore Jmaury Davis. The game ended 42-22 for the Skyrockets.
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Statistically Hatley was 8-17 through the air for 117 yards and his own TD on a keeper. Penigar was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 60 yards, including his touchdown grab. On the ground, Clrendon could never break their patented big play as Wellington held their running game to modest yards. Penigar (37), Ballard (30) and Davis (36).
Defensively, Jmaury Davis was all over the field and led all tacklers with 12. Junior Rhett Caison had 7. Caison is emerging as an overachiever on D as he's been one of the most consistent defenders the Broncos have.