Wellington got to ring the bell Friday night. Crusader fans, wild in spirit, flocked to the end of Sellers Field, caught in the buzz of a noise-filled bliss.
The Crusaders, playing on their home field in Sellers Park, managed a fourth quarter comeback from a one touchdown deficit to pull a 14-13 victory over the Winfield Vikings, who came into the game with a 5-1 record. The Crusaders entered at 1-5.
It was a fitting end to a game in which the players of the 1969 state championship Wellington Crusader team were honored at halftime.
Wellington gave up a touchdown in the first quarter, giving Winfield a 7-0 lead. With 8:42 in the second, Trace Rusk scored for Wellington. Winfield responded with a 20-yard touchdown pass, but the point after touchdown was no good. The Vikings went into halftime, leading 13-7.
The game was most intense during the fourth quarter. The Vikings had advanced to the Crusader 6-yard-line, but were called on a penalty that put them back at the 27. The loss of Viking yards helped the Crusaders hold them back and make an interception at its 12.
Next, Crusader tailback Trace Rusk sprinted 48 yards, moving the ball to the 40. On the next play, Zane Cornejo ran the ball for a 40-yard touchdown. The PAT kick by Karsten Gill basically gave the Crusaders the game at 14-13.
Interceptions and battles for field possession would characterize the final moment of a game that Crusader Coach Zane Aguilar called a “difference maker.”
The 1969 football state champion team stands on the field.
Coach Zane Aguilar talks to the team after the game.