WELLBORN — With a monumental matchup against defending Class 3A state champion Piedmont looming next week, Wellborn could have easily overlooked winless Weaver on Friday night.
The Panthers showed up to The Hill ready to play, however, running over the Bearcats 69-0.
“We just played like it was a regular game,” Wellborn senior Ti’Quan Thomas said. “Don’t overlook anybody. That’s how we go about it.”
Wellborn took care of business early. The Panthers’ starters built a 50-0 lead before departing after one quarter.
Calvin Spinks started the game with a bang, returning the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. Thomas scored on a 68-yard run two plays into Wellborn’s first offensive drive. Logan Brooks followed with a 17-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Jett Smith then found Tae Traylor in the end zone for a 15-yard score. Touchdowns runs of 51 yards by Spinks, 49 yards by Smith and 55 yards by Jesse Lewis capped Wellborn’s 50-point first-quarter explosion.
“We try to take it one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves,” Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said. “They came out in that first quarter and did what they were supposed to do, and really had a big first quarter.”
What to know
—Wellborn finished with 468 yards of total offense. The Panthers added 19 points in the second quarter. Omarion Curry scored on a 5-yard touchdown run, Spinks returned a punt 75 yards for a score, and Beau Neely scored on a 34-yard touchdown run.
—No points were scored in the second half as the two teams played eight-minute quarters with a running clock.
—Xavier Parker led the Panthers’ rushing attack with 93 yards on three carries. The sophomore broke a 79-yard run late in the game but was caught from behind and brought down at Weaver’s 12-yard line.
—Wellborn’s defense allowed 95 yards for the game, but during the first quarter, the Panthers’ starters held the Bearcats to minus-26 yards. Both Tavaris Berry and Traylor recorded sacks during the game’s first 12 minutes, and Neely recorded an interception during the fourth quarter.
—Weaver’s offense was led by Peyton Martin, who finished with 84 rushing yards on 23 carries.
—Jeff Smith on getting seniors Thomas, Brooks and Traylor into the end zone: “The thing with us, we’re a four-back offense, and we try to get the ball to everybody. That’s always the plan, and tonight, the plays that they were called for, all hit.”
—Thomas on next week’s game against Piedmont, which ended the Panthers’ season last year in the state semifinals: “Payback. That’s what we’ve been saying for years, since my ninth-grade year. We’ve been saying payback for a long time.”
—Jeff Smith on next week’s game against Piedmont: “It’s going to be a big game, and it’s going to be exciting.”
—Wellborn (8-0, 6-0 Class 3A, Region 5) hosts Piedmont next week in a game that will decide the region championship. Weaver (0-7, 0-6) hosts Ohatchee.