Wellington running back Marc Ramirez is stopped short by Windthorst on a 4th and 1 during the first quarter of a Class 2A Division II state semifinal on Leo Brittain Field Lions Stadium in Vernon on Thursday night. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
It’s an unwanted memory sadly Wellington won’t forget for quite some time.
The Skyrockets did everything but score, resulting in a heart sinking 7-0 loss to Windthorst in a Class 2A Division II state semifinal on Leo Brittain Field at Lions Stadium in Vernon.
The Trojans won despite gaining just 92 yards and converting five first downs. Windthorst had eight possessions the entire game, moving into Wellington territory only three times, and never getting into the Skyrockets red zone.
The only thing Wellington gave up came on a trick play. Windthorst’s receiver Max Owen was left all alone near the Trojan sideline, and quarterback Cy Belcher delivered a strike to Owen for a 26-yard TD for the lone score.
“It’s a tough one to swallow when you lose 7-0,” Wellington coach Greg Proffitt said. “The touchdown they got is really hard for us to swallow.”
Wellington had its chances to be in front after a dominating first half, but couldn’t put any points on the board. After taking the ball on the coin toss, the offense chewed up yards and clock. The Skrockets drove the ball down the field with running back Marc Ramirez taking 11 minutes, but the drive was all for not. Wellington faced a 3rd and 1 at the Trojans 5-yard line, and drew a false start penalty. After gaining 5 yards back on the third down, Ramirez was stopped turning it over to Windthorst.
The Trojans went 3 and out giving the ball right back to Wellington. Off the punt, the Skyrockets took over at the Windthorst 37-yard line with 11 minutes left in the second quarrer. Once again, Wellington bullied Windthorst down inside the Trojan 10-yard line taking up six more minutes of the game clock but came away with zero points after being stopped on another 4th and short.
“It was extremely disappointing,” Proffitt said. “We had our chances and let the chips fall where they may. I’m proud of our players regardless and they left everything out there.”
Windthorst coach Chris Tackett echoed Proffitt’s comments.
“Wellington is so good at running the ball, and they are so well coached,” Tackett said. “(Marc) Ramirez is such a good running back. We just had to hang in make a play and we did.”
Wellington had one final chance with 1:06 left in the game, however, a Creighton Killian pass was intercepted by Ethan Belcher sealing the Windthorst win.
Ramirez carried the Skyrockets rushing for 140 yards on 19 carries. Ethan Belcher led the Trojans with 59 yards on the ground.
Wellington ends a tremendous season at 13-1 overall. The Skyrockets were making their sixth state semifinal since 2011, and are 63-8 since 2016.
“It was a great run,” Proffitt said. “Our seniors did a great job of leading us. I’m thankful for those guys. They’ve taken me in, and I’ve been able to build relationships with those guys. We left it all out there and I hope this drives our you guys. At the end of the day we’re blessed and we can fight another day tomorrow.”
Windthorst (14-1) advances to the state title game for the first time since 2010. The Trojans face three-time defending state champion Mart (14-0) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Windthorst 7, Wellington 0
Wellington 0 0 0 0 —
Windthorst 0 0 7 0 — 7
Wi— Max Owen 26 pass from Cy Belcher (Tryston Harding kick), 1:14
First downs 12 5
Rushes-Yards 34-165 23-58
Passing Yards 8 34
Total Yards 173 92
C-A-I 1-5-1 4-6-0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-0
Punting 4-36 6-36.2
Penalties 5-45 1-5
RUSHING— Wellington: Marc Ramirez 19-140, Mason Folk 9-23, Creighton Killian 3-(-4). Windthorst: Ethan Belcher 17-59, Cy Belcher 4-7, Team 2-(-8).
PASSING— Wellington: Killian 1-5-1—8. Windthorst: C. Belcher 4-6-0—34.
RECEIVING— Wellington: Jordan Nation 1-8. Windthorst: Max Owen 2-26, Kyle Wolf 2-8.