After giving up a 65-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, Wellborn didn’t give up any more points and won 29-8 in its Class 2A state playoff opener.
“They’ve been like that all year. They’re fighters,” Wellborn coach Jeff Smith said. “The reason we get better week-to-week is because they work hard at practice and they go out in games and try to get better.”
Celebrating his 18th birthday, Chantz Goodman scored a pair of touchdowns for Wellborn (8-3), while Landon Machristie rushed for a touchdown and threw for another. Goodman opened the Wellborn scoring with a 55-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. With a successful 2-point conversion, Wellborn and Red Bay were tied 8-8.
The Panthers took the lead for good in the second quarter, as Machristie found Devron Taylor for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The extra point gave Wellborn a 15-8 advantage.
“At halftime we went in there and settle everybody down and reinforced some of our rules and everything,” Smith said. “We came out in the second half and just really played well.”
In the third quarter, Machristie scored on a short run, which was set up by a long run by Kevin Mixon. Goodman closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard scoring run. The 2-point conversion made it 29-8.
The Panthers advance to play Fyffe at home in the second round. This marks the third straight year Wellborn has won its playoff opener, the first time the Panthers have done that since 1988-90.