By JAMES JORDAN
The Wellington Daily News
The Wellington Crusaders are where they want to be after one game of district play, with two games remaining.
"We control our own destiny," coach Tyler Ryan said Monday. "We are not having to depend on anyone else. We are 5-2 now but we are hungry for more."
Wellington got the plays it had to have when it needed them and held on to beat Clearwater 21-19 Friday in Clearwater. Winfield beat Mulvane, so at present Wellington and Winfield have the early lead. The Crusaders host Mulvane this week while Winfield will play Clearwater. The following week Wellington plays at Winfield in what could be a battle for the title.
But first there is Mulvane. Wellington will have to contain running back Michael Mason, who Ryan called one of the best running backs in the state.
"They have a good strong line and they are disruptive on defense. Mason has a good set of skills. He is around 200 pounds, and is fast. He can be a bruiser at times, but can run too. He is a big chunk of their offense.
Ryan said he is pleased with the way things have gone so far this season.
He credited the defense for making plays when it had to, but said it may not have been the unit's best game of the season.
"We did well on defense. We bent but didn't break. We made some plays there," he said.
He was also happy with the way they ran the ball more efficiently in the second half.
"When you look at the film there are always ways to improve," he said. He is still looking for a complete game where each unit performs at its best.
The Crusader offensive line has also developed and become a formidable unit.
Skylar Brand and Taylon Lamkin at guards, Ben DeJarnett at center, and Trey Coulter, Nick Hyde and Dalton Holt at the tackles, have become a consistent unit that makes the offense run.
"There is some carry over from last year. As far as understanding what to do, they are doing a good job," Ryan said.