E.A. Sports Today

Wellborn wins big

Panthers’ defense rises to the occasion, holds Glencoe to 3 yards of net offense in second shutout of the season

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

The third-ranked Wellborn took care of business Friday night on “The Hill” and rolled to an easy 49-0 win over Glencoe.

The defense took control right away as Tavarius Berry sacked Yellow Jackets quarterback Nolan Fairley for losses totaling nine yards. This forced a punt on fourth down and the whole Wellborn front line stormed in and blocked Gavin Bray’s punt with Christian Figueroa falling on it for the first score of the game.

On the first play after the Wellborn kickoff, a bone-crushing tackle knocked Fairley out of the game. A few plays later, Jett Smith stepped in front of backup Garret Gaskin’s pass attempt and ran it back 38 yards for another touchdown.

Four plays later, a fumble on another punt attempt gave Wellborn the ball at the Yellow Jackets’ 20. It took the Panthers four plays to stick in the endzone, with Tiquon Thomas doing the honors from three yards out.

The Panthers (6-0, 4-0) opened a 42-0 halftime lead. They had 228 yards on the ground at that point, while Glencoe had minus-17 on 17 carries. It could have been more but Jesse Lewis had a 70-yard touchdown run nullified by a holding penalty.

The teams played with a running clock in the second half.

Glencoe (2-4, 1-3) put together a long drive late in the game against the Wellborn reserves, but the Panthers stopped them at the 15 to preserve their second shutout of the season. The Yellow Jackets were held to just three yards of total offense.

This is a historical defense for this Wellborn football team. The 2020 defense is holding opponents to just seven points a game this year, which is 10-15 points a game less than they have been running in the last few years. 

Right now, only the teams of 1964 (7-1-2, 4.5 ppg) and 1966 (9-0-1, 6.7 ppg) have a better average but that was in a different era of football offenses. The Wellborn team of 1977 (13-1, 7.2 ppg) is right in there also.

“Our defense is playing real good,” Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said. “We have eight seniors out there and 10 returning starters over there.”

Jett Smith rushed for 94 yards on five carries. Logan Brooks rushed for 96 yards on seven carries, and Calvin Spinks had 82 yards on six carries.

With top-ranked Piedmont losing to Ohatchee, the Panthers have a chance to move up to No. 2 in the Class 3A poll next week. It’s doubtful they will overtake current No. 2 Fyffe.

They will face a big test next week as they travel to Hokes Bluff for a key Class 3A, Region 5 battle.

“I like where we are at right now,” said Smith.” We have done a good job of staying healthy at this point in the season.”

His Panthers have three games left and are seeking to post only the second undefeated, untied team in school history.

Glencoe                0    0     0    0    –   0
Wellborn             28  14   7    0   –   49
W – Christian Figueroa recovers blocked punt in end zone (kick failed), 10:20 1Q
W – Jett Smith 38 interception return (Calvin Spinks run), 6:36 1Q
W – Tiquon Thomas 3 run (Brandon Morales kick), 4:02 1Q
W – Jett Smith 54 run (Brandon Morales kick), 0:24 1Q
W – Calvin Spinks 39 run (Brandon Morales kick), 8:30 2Q
W – Calvin Spinks 1 run (Brandon Morales kick), 4:22 2Q
W – Logan Brooks 61 run (Brandon Morales kick), 7:36 2Q

Glen (0)Well (49)
41st Downs11
0Passing yds0

You must be logged in to post a comment Login