Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Wellington's explosive offense, sturdy defense helps it coast to first title
ARLINGTON — After knocking on the door the last two years in the state semifinals, Wellington needed only one try to win its first state title, defeating Falls City, 42-20, in Thursday’s Class A Division II state title game at AT&T Stadium.
Wellington (14-0) controlled the game throughout with a combination of hard-hitting defense and solid, patient play on offense.
“When we came out of the state semifinals last week, we made it clear our eye was on the prize and winning the state championship,” Wellington coach Wade Williams said. “That was how we set up our approach this week, and that our one big focus was winning the state title.”
And while Wellington had plenty of focus, so did Falls City, as it took a 6-0 lead on its opening drive on an 8-yard run by Justin Twine. Wellington put together a pair of late touchdown drives in the second quarter to claim a 14-6 lead with 38 seconds left in the half.
Wellington’s star tailback, Terry Gilbreath, snagged an 8-yard scoring pass from Klark Ashmore for the tying touchdown. Ashmore found Logan Martindale with a 9-yard scoring pass on the ensuing drive.
Ashmore rolled up 163 yards in total offense and accounted for three touchdowns. Gilbreath added 183 yards rushing and three scores and was named the game’s offensive MVP.
Falls City nearly picked up the tying score late in the half, driving inside the Wellington 25 with under 10 seconds to go. But a sacked ended the half.
“We have a lot of confidence in our kids and the coaching staff,” Williams said. “We started to figure them out after the first quarter, and the kids really started getting after them on both sides of the ball.”
Wellington continued to keep the pressure on in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns to take a 34-6 lead into the fourth quarter.
Gilbreath, who eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for the season, scored on runs of 12 and 15 yards. Walker Williams, the son of the head coach, scooped up a fumble and scored from 23 yards out. He was selected as the game’s defensive MVP.
“When Walker scored on that play, it almost made me want to shed a tear right there on the field,” Wade Williams said with a smile.
Wellington scored a final touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, as Ashmore dove into the end zone from 3 yards out to finish a run of 42 straight points.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet what we accomplished today,” Ashmore said. “It is a bit overwhelming to finally be here, and it’s an amazing feeling to end the year like this.”
Falls City tacked on a pair of late touchdowns to close the game, with Twine scoring on runs of 8 and 58 yards. Twine had 117 yards rushing on 12 carries, and he finished the season with more than 1,900 yards rushing.