Fetner suffered a high ankle sprain a few weeks ago but had been playing through the pain to close out region play. Woodland coach Larry Strain decided to give him the night off to get him ready for the playoffs.
Freshman John Wes Adcock stepped in admirably for Fetner, finishing with all three of Woodland’s rushing touchdowns.
Down 21-14 late in the fourth, a host of Wellborn players got a piece of Stephen Strain’s punt, setting up the Panthers with great field position at the 37-yard line.
Delrickus Rhoden went to work, touching the ball on seven consecutive plays and eventually scoring on a 1-yard run with 2:36 remaining in the fourth.
Wellborn coach Jeff Smith decided to go for the win, but Rhoden got stuffed at the 1-yard line on the two-point conversion attempt.
“Look, we got a shot to win it, we’re going to take it,” Smith said.
The Panthers shot themselves in the foot all night long, fumbling the ball four times. Two of the fumbles led to Woodland touchdowns.
“It cost us the game, point blank.” Smith said. “ We haven’t turned the ball over like that all year long, but we turned the ball over. I don’t know how many we had, but we can’t turn the ball over that many times and expect to win.”
Rhoden fumbled on the opening possession of the game, setting up a 10-play, 73-yard drive. Adcock put the Bobcats up 7-0 after a Colton McManus extra point.
On the ensuing kickoff, Chantz Goodman fumbled the ball away, but Woodland couldn’t add to the lead after Dalton Screws blocked a McManus’ field goal attempt.
On the Panthers’ next possession, it was Dalton Carroll’s turn to give the ball back to the Bobcats.
But once again, Woodland couldn’t capitalize on good field position, as Rhoden intercepted and Adcock pass in the end zone.
Wellborn got its offense rolling on its next possession, as Screws scored on a 57-yard run, cutting the deficit to 7-6 after a failed two-point conversion.
Rhoden intercepted his second pass of the night on the ensuing drive, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Judd Smith to give the Panthers a 14-7 lead at halftime after Goodman converted the two-point conversion.
Woodland scored on its first two possessions of the second half on two Adcock 3-yard quarterback keepers. The second score was set up by another fumble recovery, and put the Bobcats up 21-14.
Adcock finished with 138 yards passing and 36 rushing in Fetner’s absence.
“He (Adcock) is really not my backup,” Strain said. “Tonight, we had our No. 1 quarterback out and our No. 2 quarterback out, so we played our ninth grade quarterback tonight.
“He did an excellent job. It’s not like he just stepped on the field for the first time. He has been with us since the seventh grade. He knows our offense, and he just did a tremendous job tonight.”
Wellborn travels to Gordo in the first round of the playoffs next Friday.