WELLINGTON — Andale took control of its second round matchup in the second half and defeated Wellington 35-17 Saturday night.
No. 1 Andale (11-0) advances to the Class 4A quarterfinals and will host Topeka Hayden on Friday. Wellington (7-4) is knocked out by Andale in the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Scott Lester scored two second-half touchdowns for Andale's offense, while the defense held Wellington to just 94 yards in the second half.
"Coach (Tim) Fairchild made some adjustments and the kids came out and played so hard, I'm so proud of how well they played," Andale coach Gary O'Hair said.
Wellington opened the game with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock. Markkel Bradley had 11 carries on the drive for 54 yards, including the final five-yard run to put Wellington on top 7-0.
Andale didn't waste any time answering, scoring in three minutes. James Tipton broke a 39-yard run that set up Andale at the 10-yard line. Andale converted on fourth and goal from the one with a Tipton run to tie it 7-7.
Wellington again drove methodically down the field. A 20-play drive stalled this time at Andale's five and Wellington had to settle for a field goal, but still led 10-7.
"They had us off balance, mixing things up and executing well," O'Hair said.
Andale again used a big play to set itself up for another score. A halfback pass from Trent Horsch to Tucker O'Hair for 39 yards pushed the Indians along. Andale scored six plays later with a five-yard touchdown run by Tipton for a 14-10 lead at half.
In the second half, Andale's defense took the long drives away from Wellington and shut down the offense. Wellington's rushing attack that rushed for 96 yards in the first half, was held to -3 yards in the second.
Wellington stopped Andale on a fourth and short, on the opening drive of the second half giving momentum to the Crusaders but that's when the Indians' defense went to work.
"We play every play like it's our last and played our hearts out," Andale's defensive end Allen Trent said.
Getting a sack and another tackle for loss, Andale pushed Wellington back to its five-yard line. After a 16-yard punt, Andale got the ball right back with great field position and took advantage.
Three plays later, Andale quarterback Jake Hattabaugh found Craig Simon for a five-yard touchdown pass to put Andale up 21-10.
"I was really proud of our kids the second half, Wellington was doing such a good job offensively I didn't know if we were going to be able to slow them down," O'Hair said.
Lester's first touchdown, a 24-yard burst in which he broke two tackles, put Andale up 28-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Any hope of a comeback by Wellington was finished by a fumble recovered by Andale on the Crusdaers' 28-yard line. Lester scored two plays later on a nine-yard touchdown run.
"It feels great, we knew we were going to come out here and play a tough game, we just knew that we had to keep the tempo going," Lester said.
Andale (11-0) 7 7 7 14 — 35 Wellington (7-4) 7 3 0 7 — 17
W—Bradley 2 run (Collins kick)
A—Tipton 1 run (Hattabaugh kick)
W—Collins 22 field goal
A—Simon 5 pass from Hattabaugh (Hattabaugh kick)
A—Tipton 5 run (Hattabaugh kick)
A—Lester 24 run (Hattabaugh kick)
A—Lester 9 run (Hattabaugh kick)
W—Je. Edwards 21 pass from Jo. Edwards (Collins kick)
Rushing—Andale, Tipton 7-88, Hattabaugh 15-83, Lester 9-65, Rowland 8-44, Horsch 2-3. Wellington, Bradley 23-69, Mirt 6-20, Koerner 5-1, Jo. Edwards 6-3.
Passing—Andale, Hattabaugh 1-1-5-0Horsch 1-1-31-0. Wellington, Koerner 4-8-60-0, Jo. Edwards 8-22-94-1.
Receiving—Andale, O'Hair 1-31, Simon 1-5. Wellington, Heath 1-19, Je. Edwards 5-78, Bradley 2-15, Anderson 2-27, Koerner 2-15.