WELLINGTON — For so many reasons, emotions were pumping through Wellington sophomore TaylanYbarra.
For starters, Ybarra’s first carry of Friday night’s game against Andover Central would come against the same team that ended his freshman season with an injury. Not to mention it was his first varsity carry as a running back.
“I was really nervous,” Ybarra said. “The line just opened it up for me. Jace Rausch had a great block around the outside to give me a hole to run through.”
From there Ybarra, at 208 pounds, lowered his shoulder and delivered a blow to break a tackle then showed breakaway speed to take his first carry 71 yards for Wellington’s first touchdown in its 18-7 victory.
Never miss a local story.
“That was a big time run he made to get us on the board,” Wellington coach Linn Hibbs said. “Taylan’s a really good player right now and he has a chance to be a special one.”
Ybarra turned 11 carries into 111 rushing yards and contributed 123 of Wellington’s 399 offensive yards.
Even with Wellington racking up 11 plays of 10 or more yards, its defense was its rallying point.
Tyler Rayl, a mammoth on the defense line, clogged the running lanes of Andover Central.
“I think (Rayl) did a great job of stuffing all the gaps,” Wellington linebacker Troy Mirt said. “Our defense is a gap team — what the coach called, we executed and look what happened.”
All four of Central’s first-half drives entered into Wellington territory, but the Crusaders’ defense, aided by key plays from Mirt and Jordan Edwards ended all four.
“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot,” Central coach Tom Audley said. “Turning the ball over three times, it’s just something we need to work on, we’re still pretty green.”
Drake Koerner added two more Wellington scores, one by his legs (74 rushing yards) and once with his arm (123 passing yards).
Central finally responded with a nine-play, 90-yard drive featuring eight runs, including Landon Huslig’s eight-yard run for a touchdown with 6:21 to play.
Andover Central (0-2) 0 0 0 7 — 7Wellington (2-0) 6 6 6 0 — 18
W—Ybarra 71 run (missed kick)W—Koerner 35 run (pass failed)W—Je. Edwards 31 pass from Koerner (missed kick)AC—Huslig 8 run (Warchuck kick)
Rushing—Andover Central, Hulsig 13-62, Rockett 9-60, Phillippi 9-47, Hoy 1-3. Wellington, Ybarra 11-111, Koerner 16-74, Bradley 5-52, Mirt 11-39.
Passing—Andover Central, Huslig 8-22-119-1. Wellington, Koerner 7-13-123-0.
Receiving—Andover Central, Warchuck 3-55, Rockett 1-25, Trembly 2-19, Phillippi 1-13, Willard 1-7. Wellington, Voshell 1-35, Jo. Edwards 2-34, Je. Edwards 1-31, Ybarra 1-12, McCorkle 1-8, Bradley 1-3.