The Dukes struck first but the Normandy Invaders struck hardest Friday night, defeating Wellington 48-14 to open the 2018 season.
Quarterback Ben Higgins connected with Parker Adler on an eight-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give Wellington a 6-0 lead.
However, an ensuing 65-yard scoring run and two-point conversion by Normandy quarterback Matt Ashe gave his team an 8-6 advantage they’d never relinquish.
After a Wellington three-and-out, Ashe connected on an 89-yard touchdown pass and another two-point conversion for a 16-6 lead going into halftime. That lead was pushed to 30-6 by the end of the third quarter thanks to another Ashe pass for six and a score on the ground.
Higgins notched his second touchdown pass of the game in the fourth quarter, connecting with Mason McClellan to make it 36-14. Two more touchdowns by Ashe, one passing and one rushing, rounded out scoring.
Despite the loss, Higgins finished 14-of-26 through the air for 172 yards and the two scores. McClellan carried the ball 23 times for 57 yards and added three catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. Adler caught two passes for 51 yards and a score.
Next up for the Dukes is a road trip to Mapleton before a Sept. 7 home opener against New London.