Sam Elliott's 201-yard performance carries Buhler and helps spoil Wellington's Senior Night
Last year, Wellington traveled to Buhler and pulled off a massive upset. This year, Buhler had different plans.
In a battle of the Crusaders, Buhler rolled into Wellington's Senior Night as the heavy favorite, and this time they didn't want to be involved in any sort of upset story.
Buhler took an early lead and never looked back as they held Wellington to zero points until the last play of the game. Wellington avoided the shutout, but they couldn't avoid Buhler's 35-3 win on Friday night.
"Coming into this, we knew Buhler and their staff does a great job," said Wellington head coach Zane Aguilar. "Each and every year they put together great football teams. They are a tough team to beat."
After Wellington (2-4) started the game with a three and out, Buhler (6-1) had no problem getting on the board first. Senior quarterback Bradley Neill connected with senior Tanner Tustian on a 24-yard touchdown for the first score of the game.
However, Tustian wasn't done scoring.
Buhler was able to get the ball back and senior running back Sam Elliott scored on an 11-yard touchdown. Quickly, Buhler added another touchdown, but this time from the defensive side.
Senior cornerback Diante Campbell picks off Wellington quarterback Malachi Rogers and returns it for a 40-yard pick-six.
In the second quarter and most of the third quarter, Wellington was able to keep Buhler in check. Despite Wellington allowing 35 points, the defense was responsible for 21 and gave up 221 yards.
Elliott was responsible for 201 yards and it all came on the ground.
"We shut them out in the second quarter and forced quite a bit of punts," said Aguliar. "Offensively, we didn't keep our defense off the field. Our defense has to carry over from that and continue to get better. We play a totally different team next week and we have to be ready."
The one touchdown Wellington gave up in the third quarter came from Tustian on an 11-yard pass from Neill, however, the fullback wasn't done.
As soon as Wellington got the ball to start the fourth quarter, Tustian intercepted Rogers and returned it for a touchdown. Buhler forced four Wellington turnovers and two of them went for touchdowns.
Wellington's only points came on the last drive of the game. Rogers got Wellington to the Buhler 10-yard line after a 68-yard run. Before that run, Buhler held Wellington to 80 yards.
Wellington took a couple of seconds off the clock, and on the last play of the game, in an attempt to prevent a shutout, they went for the field goal.
Jack Wright attempted the 16-yard field goal as time expired and it was good.
"We have to re-evaluate what we're doing," said Aguliar. "When we meet as a staff on Sunday, we're going to have to go back to the basics. Buhler's defense is very physical, but it seems like we are one block away, and that's not going to get it done."
Next week Buhler will host Circle (5-2) at 7 p.m. in the last game of the regular season. Wellington will travel to Mulvane (5-2) for their regular-season finale.