WELLINGTON — A year ago, Andale ended Wellington's season in the Class 4A playoffs. Move ahead to the season opener for both teams Friday night and nothing has changed — the Indians are still in charge.
Behind a big night on the ground from senior running back Jake Hattabaugh and a shutout effort from the defense, Andale cruised to a 28-0 win.
"I'm just tickled to death to come away with a win," Andale coach Gary O'Hair said.
From their opening possession — started at the Wellington 25 after a partially blocked punt — the Indians put their offense in full gear. Hattabaugh carried the ball four times on the first possession and finished it by bullying his way into the end zone from five yards out. He finished with 137 yards on 21 carries.
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Following the first touchdown, Andale got plenty of help from the Crusaders’ special teams. On Wellington's next possession, a snap went over punter Chancey Stallbaumer's head and into the endzone for a safety after Stallbaumer dove on the ball.
"First of all, let's give Andale a lot of credit, they're well-coached and have a tremendous program and team," Wellington coach Linn Hobbs said. "We made a lot of mistakes in the first half. Now, whether that made a difference in the outcome of the game, that's hard to say."
As much of a lift Hattabaugh gave the Indians on offense and Wellington's special teams helped with their miscues — the Andale defense was just as big a force.
"There was a lot of nerves, some pressure, but once we got into the game, I started calming down," Andale senior defensive end Allen Trent said. "Everyone else did too. Everyone did their part. It's all I can really say."
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound, Trent didn't need to say much — he finished with three sacks.
Wellington had a chance to get back in the game in the second half after Andale quarterback Cody King fumbled and gave the Crusaders the ball back, but an incompletion by Wellington’s Ryan Jenkins on 4th-and-3 from the Andale 6-yard line ended their scoring hopes.
The Crusaders had fallen behind 21-0 in the second quarter on a 14 yard pass from King to Ryan Horsch, then Tucker O'Hair scored on a 35 yard run.
King found Ryan Horsch on a 14-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-0. Tucker O’Hair followed that with a 35-yard touchdown run.
Andale, which finished with 426 yards on the yard, completed its scoring on a 15 yard touchdown run by Trent Horsch with 46 seconds left in the game.
"We just tried to put them down," Trent said. "We got up 21-0 and we knew we still had to play hard. We couldn't just let up."
Andale (1-0) 9 12 0 7 — 28
Wellington (0-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
A — Hattabaugh 5 run (Hattabaugh kick)
A — Safety on punt snap to Stallbaumer
A — R. Horsch 14 pass from King (run failed)
A — O'Hair 35 run (pass failed)
A — T. Horsch 15 run (Hattabaugh kick)
Rushing — Andale, Hattabaugh 21-137, T. Horsch 6-73, O'Hair 6-63, King 8-31, Winsor 2-17, Blanchat 2-3, R. Horsch, 2-2. Wellington, Ybarra 16-90, Fair 6-24, Day 3-6, Jenkins 5-(-24), .
Passing — Andale, KIng 2-10-25-2; Wellington, Jenkins 5-19-33-0.
Receiving — Andale, R. Horsch 1-14, O'Hair 1-11. Wellington, Anderson 2-16, Ybarra 2-13, Fair 1-4.