A three-game winning streak for the Dukes was on the line when they officially entered Patriot Athletic Conference action Friday against the Buckeye Bucks.
Despite their recent success, the Dukes were facing a Buckeye team that has been the model of consistency this season and a buzzsaw to opponents.
The Bucks entered the game with a perfect 5-0 record and the highest scoring offense in the Stars Division at 42 points per game and giving up only 10 points per game.
Add in the fact that it was homecoming and the Bucks were honoring their 1965 Inland Conference championship team and the Dukes had a tall task ahead.
Unfortunately for the Dukes, it proved to be a mountain that was unclimbable as the Bucks overpowered Wellington 54-6.
The Buckeye defense held the Dukes to 30 yards in the first half and just 48 for the game as the Wellington offense found itself stymied. Still, the Dukes were in the game until midway through the second quarter.
Buckeye (6-0, 1-0 PAC) opened the scoring with a 57-yard punt return by Nathan Polidori with 3:50 left in the opening quarter. A Richard Gatt PAT gave the Bucks a 7-0 lead.
They added six more nearly two and a half minutes later when Nathan Scott broke free for a 17-yard run into the end zone to extend the Buckeye lead to 13-0 with 1:24 left in the quarter.
A Polidori fumble in the second quarter gave Wellington the ball back and the Dukes capitalized.
An 11-yard run by junior Max Carevic put the Dukes on the board just over a minute into the second quarter. The two-point conversion pass failed and the Dukes trailed 13-6.
However, that proved to be the wake-up call the Bucks needed.
The Bucks went on to score three touchdowns in a span of 6:10 to seize control of the game. A pair of touchdown runs by Trevor Thomas and another by Scott gave the Bucks a 34-6 lead at halftime.
The Bucks scored on their opening possession of the third quarter to widen the lead to 40-6 just 36 seconds into the half.
They tacked on one more touchdown in the quarter and another in the fourth to close out the scoring.
Things don’t get any easier for the Dukes (3-3, 0-1) next week when they host Firelands on homecoming night. The Falcons beat Brookside 19-13 to improve to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the PAC.
Russ Gifford | Wellington Enterprise Wellington’s Tristan Arno hands off to Justin Skinner at Brooklyn. While they wiped up against the Hurricanes, the Dukes had considerably more trouble this week facing the dominant Buckeye Bucks.