A week ago, the Wellington Crusaders put down the Rose Hill Rockets to end their season. At that same time, the Buhler Crusaders defeated the Winfield Vikings to end their season. Friday evening, it was Crusader Vs. Crusader in Sellers Park, in Wellington. With Buhler’s victory over Winfield of 25-0, as well as Wellington’s 38-13 win over Rose Hill, it’s clear this evening was going to be different than recent games. It was expected to be more of a challenge to the Wellington Crusaders who have not played many close games this season so far.
One thing would be clear by the end of the evening. Two teams would enter the field, one team would go on.
There was nothing wrong with the enthusiasm of the Wellington crowd as they put it all out there for their Crusaders Friday evening. The fans were tense, but ready to get the game started.
Grey Hatfield almost scored a touchdown within the first few minutes, but was called back due to a holding call on the Crusaders. It was a crushing call, but what was done was done.
The Crusaders tried to get three on the scoreboard, but the kick was no good, going off to the left.
It was clear after these failed maneuvers that Wellington was going to be facing a more challenging game that it had in quite some time.
With less than two minutes left in the first quarter, Buhler called a time out with the score still 0-0.
Hatfield and De’Andre Washington were a double act as they were busting through the Buhler defense any way they could. Still, they could not quite seal the deal. At the end of the first quarter, the score still remained 0-0. Hatfield took a serious blow from a run-in with with the Buhler players, but he was still in the game.
Washington scored the first touchdown of the game near the beginning of the second quarter to make it 7-0 over Buhler.
Buhler finally got on the board with 8:49 remaining in the first half, making it a tied ballgame at 7-7.
Washington incurred an ankle injury during the melee not long before Wellington called a time out.
As the minutes ticked off in the remainder of the first half, this was looking like one of the most challenging games Wellington had played all season. Neither side had managed to run away with the points yet. Wellington seemed content to run the clock out as the first half concluded with the score unchanged.
Coming back out onto the field after the half, Buhler made a concerted effort to charge the Wellington defense, but once again they met stiff resistance.
Zane Cornejo got a fumble recovery that got the ball back into Wellington’s hands.
With 7:13 remaining in the third quarter, Wellington called a time out, with the score still unchanged.
The hits kept on coming as more players on both sides made the trip to the bench having been injured.
Both teams had to be getting frustrated as it had been quite some time since either of them had scored. The end of the third quarter continued the stalemate with the score remaining 7-7.
Buhler tried again to score a winning kick, but just could not get it through with 9:21 remaining in the game.
Wellington scored another penalty for holding, which did not help matters.
Thanks to a powerful drive by Wellington, with a big push from Hunter Greenlee, they were looking at breaking the tie with less than two minutes to play in the game. This was clearly going to be close.
The fans were going crazy in the stands as the clock was winding down. There was a roar from the crowds as Wellington scored that tie-breaking touchdown with less than a minute to go.
Wellington scored with the kick to make the score 14-7.
There was some tension breaking out on the field between some of the Buhler and Wellington players with pushing and shoving. Wellington received the penalty.
Buhler began using up their time-outs in quick fashion with just twenty-three seconds left in the game.
Wellington also got in the act, making those last several seconds pass by very slowly and dramatically.
Finally, the 14-7 win came for Wellington and they were able to move on. Buhler put up a good fight, clashing hard with Wellington.
The Wellington Crusaders now go on to play Goddard at Sellers Park next Friday evening. The Crusaders are now 8-2.