SEASON #2 BEGINS NOW!
Weather forecasters as we all know, sometimes miss a forecast or two, especially those that extend very far into the future. This week, they nailed it. On Tuesday and since, we were told there would be T-storms. strong northerly winds and dropping temps in Scott City early Friday evening. Bingo, bingo and bingo.
The IRONDUKES Week #6 game was played 4-5 hours NW of here (@ Scott City HS) but started about 35 minutes late due to strong storms, lightning, etc...the teams initially took the field for warmups but were removed from the field shortly thereafter for more than an hour as the bad stuff passed through. Fans retreated to their cars and awaited Mother Nature's temperment to improve. Never improved greatly but improved enough to get the game in despite 40 mph winds out of the north, dropping temps and a very wet field that resembled a pool along the sidelines.
Week #6 game was much like week #5 game at HOME (vs Collegiate) - the opposition jumped out early but then the Crusaders would regain some of that "mo" in the 2nd qtr. to make you feel like - this game could go in the win column! Think Scott City was a little worried about that at halftime as well. Like week #5 though, the boys in red couldn't get all the cylinders to fire and eventually would find themselves out of reach of victory #4 on the season. There were moments of excitement but overall were hindered in their ability to move the ball offensively and find paydirt with it. Of course it doesn't help when your leading rusher (Jr. Joe Ybarra) is on the sideline in street clothes, healing his ankle and a few others from the lineup wearing jeans as well. All teams are afflicted with that scenario by this time of the season, have heard that Winfield (our first district playoff game coming up Friday) has incurred some injuries, but hey, that's football. Joe and some of the others are expected back so for that we can be grateful. Over the next 3 weeks, the real season will play itself out and hopefully this 7 year journey to post-season play can happen.
Scott City, with the gale force winds to their backs in the 1st qtr were able to put up 14 points, their first TD, a gift if you will. The IRONDUKES, having stopped the Beavers and leaving them with a 4th and 7, forced a punting situation. Unfortunately, Wellington jumped offside, now it's 4th and 2 and the Beaver offense, feeling a little more confident with only 2 yds to gain for a 1st, came back on the field. The 1st down was easily attained and only a handful of plays later, paydirt was found. The PAT failed and Scott City lead 6-0 and would lead the rest of the way. The Beavers would find the end zone again and several "3 and out" scenarios by Wellington's offense early on kept tipping the scale back in Scott City's favor. The Beavers would also make up for the failed PAT earlier with a 2 point conversion. Score after 1, Wellington 00 Scott City 14. (Score after 1 last week, Wellington 00 Collegiate 14)...and like last week, the IRONDUKES clawed their way back some in the 2nd qtr, scoring and not allowing the other guys to score. Went into half only traililng 14-6 and the "big mo" seemed to be switching to RED. Wellington's only score as it would turn out would be that 2nd qtr. scamper by Jr. Grey Hatfield who ran it in from the 20 for a nice play. Good blocking, good jukin' and jivin' - Grey's 2nd TD of the season. For the first half anyways, the team with the wind to their back had the advantage.
Things looked like they'd continue to improve the Crusader's position when early on in the 3rd, the IRONDUKES stopped Scott City's drive with a Michael Ledbetter interception at the 8:16 mark...Michael returned the ball 18 yds. The IRONDUKES failed however to capitalize and just 4 1/2 minutes later, the BEAVERS found the end zone again and moved ahead 21-6 after 3. They would add another 6 and a PAT halfway through the 4th on a 3yd run to seal the deal and give the 5th game rubber match between the two schools to SCOTT CITY who would move to 3-2 in their games with Wellington over the years, dating clear back into the 80's. The bus ride back to Wellington wouldn't be as jubilant as some in the past. That season is over now though and season #2 commences.
District play will begin this Friday @ Winfield, followed the next Friday (Homecoming) here at home vs Mulvane and then week #9 (Oct. 27th) the Ulysses Tigers will be in town for the district playoff and regular season finale. The top 2 (Wellington, Winfield, Mulvane, Ulysses) will move on, the other two, equipment check-in on Oct. 30th.
Stat-wise, the Crusaders as mentioned, struggled offensively overall. Total offense generated came in under 100 yds. (80 yds passing, 15 yds rushing) Hatfield was the leading rusher for the Crusaders, carrying the ball 15 times for 49 yds and the 2nd qtr. score. All other rushers ended with negative yardage. Phelps chalked up 80 yds passing (9/28), Michael Ledbetter had 3 receptions for 31 yds (plus the 3rd qtr interception), Julian Jimenez 3 receptions for 22 yds. DeAndre Washington had 2/19 yds and Gage Cunningham 1/ 8yds. Only 6 first downs by the boys in red compared to 15 for the host. Trayson Probst was forced to punt 8 times for 278 yds total, a 35 yd avg for the Crusader punter. Scott City would chalk up 274 yds total offense, 49 passing and the balance of 225 on the ground.
After 6 games, the Crusaders find themselves at 3-3, a marked improvement over the 2016 season. Now it's time to play for some important marbles - district playoff marbles and post season opportunities. We all know from past experience, in a few years not many folks will remember the 3-3 record for weeks 1 thru 6. They will however remember these next 3 games on slate...here's hoping the IRONDUKES can extend the season beyond those 3 games...and that possibility certainly exists...some good fortune always helps but these Crusaders will rise to the occasion - you can sensel it.
Side note: listening to the Scott City announcers during the game on the "live stream" provided by their school, you couldn't help but feel proud of Wellington's football heritage. When people that live over 200 miles away know as much about the history of your program as we do, it spells nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T... and that is something you can hang your hat on. Proud to be a Crusader - GOOD LUCK IRONDUKES - bring it home gentlemen.
OTHER AREA SCORES
Andale 35 Collegiate 7
Maize South 49 Winfield 21
Trinity 63 Belle Plaine 35
El Dorado 55 Independence 6
South Haven 48 Burrton 32
Chaparral 34 Clearwater 22
Conway Springs 44 Mulvane 13
Attica-Argonia 68 Fairfield 22
McPherson 35 Rose Hill 0
Caldwell 46 Norwich 0
Oxford 52 Peabody 6
Goodland 42 Ulysses 8