Chalk up another win and a 60-point offensive explosion for the Dukes.
Wellington (3-2) scored on six plays of 40 or more yards in Friday’s 60-7 win over the Brooklyn Hurricanes (0-5).
The Dukes had a duo of 100-yard receivers: Trevor Porter with 139 yards on five catches and Mason Wright with 120 on three grabs.
Three of Porter’s catches went for touchdowns including two leaping ones on post routes amidst traffic in the back of the end zone, which is starting to become routine for the senior.
“I can jump over most kids,” Porter said. “That helps a lot. I feel like we’re in a lot better shape as a team and more disciplined that in the past.”
Nate Nocella led the ground attack and it only took four carries. He racked up 143 yards and scored from 69 and 43 yards out. Teammates were calling him “4.8 Nate” on the sidelines to acknowledge his speedy 40-yard dash time.
“I enjoy carrying the ball and I love how (Justin) Skinner and I can switch in and out,” he said. “Having two backs that can do a lot of things makes a team that much better.”
After Wright scored the game’s opening touchdown on a 59-yard pass from Max Carevic, Brooklyn tied the game on a botched Wellington punt. The snap went over Carevic’s head and into the end zone where it was recovered by the Hurricanes’ Brandon Jakubecz.
Carevic completed 13-of-23 passes for 250 yards and four scores and added eight rushes for 63 yards.
A 27-point second quarter thanks to long scores from Nocella and Porter as well as a five-yard run from Justin Skinner broke things open for Wellington and it never looked back.
Tristan Arno’s only pass of the game went for 56 yards and a score to Porter in the fourth quarter. Freshmen Ben Higgins and Mason McClellan also connected on an 18-yard pass for the Duke’s final touchdown.
On the defensive side, the Dukes gave up just five first downs and 114 yards of total offense to Brooklyn. Nocella was involved in two sacks of Brooklyn quarterback Matt Crossman.
Next up is a huge match-up with Buckeye(4-1), which sits in a four-way tie atop the PAC Stars standings with Firelands, Keystone, and Black River.
“We have a lot to prove this year,” said Nocella. “I think we’re ready to come out and take Buckeye on. We have to come out and have a good start and not dig an early hole.”
Head coach Sean Arno was happy with Friday’s effort from his newcomers.
“The kids played pretty good tonight,” he said. “In the end we had our young guys in there and they were still executing and making plays. That’s good. Our kids are hungry and wanted to continue to play hard. A freshman throwing a touchdown to a freshman with freshman lineman is what it is. It’s a very good ninth grade group we have.”
He agreed that a fast start will be key against Buckeye next week.
“This conference runs through Buckeye,” he said. “They’ve won it two or three years in a row. They know it and we know it. It’s a rivalry game and always has been. When I walked into our weight room, ‘what have you done today to beat Buckeye?’ was painted on the wall. That’s still on the wall. Hopefully, we can get healthy after missing four starters tonight.”
It was also the first game with $34,000 temporary seating in place that will remain at WHS stadium for the rest of football season. The Wellington school board has been advised to come to a decision on permanent seating by December that could cost as much as $230,000.
“It feels good to have the fans here enjoying the seats,” said school board member Daniel Rosecrans. “I think everyone appreciates it and the seats look good. We’re all having a very good time tonight.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Photos by Jonathan Delozier and Marcee Maurer Nate Nocella loses his towel Friday while breaking away for a 69-yard touchdown during the Dukes’ 60-7 victory over the Brooklyn Hurricanes.
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