Atlantic 21, Wellington 5: Eagles’ defense keys victory


Atlantic’s defense looks ready for the playoffs.

In a 21-5 homecoming victory over Wellington, the Eagles kept the Wolverines out of the end zone, limited them to 124 total net yards and seven first downs, and forced six turnovers.

As District 10-Class 8A champs, the second-ranked Eagles (8-1) will be home for a playoff game next Friday. As of the last FHSAA standings update, Atlantic held the fourth seed in the Region 3-8A playoffs. Atlantic will learn its official seeding and first-round playoff opponent late Sunday morning.

The Wolverines (4-5) likely saw their season end. They began this week in 13th place in the Region 3-8A standings.

Atlantic intercepted Wellington quarterback Austin Wallace four times, and also picked off punter Jadien Durant on a fake punt on the Wolverines’ final possession. Wallace completed his first four passes, but only 3-of-20 after that. He was also sacked five times.

Atlantic won despite being limited to 6 yards rushing, and getting penalized 19 times for 194 yards. A trio of quarterbacks — including starter Antoine Williams and backup Kalani Ilimaleota — connected with nine receivers for a combined 227 passing yards.

Wellington opened the game by marching from its 27 to the Atlantic 15 before settling for Morgan Suarez’s 30-yard field goal with 6:20 left in the first quarter.

A failed onside kick gave the Eagles the ball on the Wolverines’ 45. Five plays later, Williams kept the ball and broke a couple of tackles on his way to a 10-yard touchdown run that put Atlantic ahead.

Atlantic pushed the lead to 14-3 early in the second quarter. Marc-Allan Durac made the first interception of Wallace and returned it 53 yards to the Wolverines 13. Two plays later, tailback Shelley Singletary bounced off a would-be tackler and scored from 13 yards out with 9:30 left in the first half.

Wellington began its last possession of the first half on the Atlantic 14 thanks to a series of Eagles penalties and a short punt. But on fourth-and-5, Corey Gammage intercepted Wallace in the end zone with less than 30 seconds left in the half.

Wellington notched a safety when Jadien Durant’s 64-yard punt rolled to the Atlantic 1, and an Atlantic ball carrier was tackled behind the goal line on the next snap. The Wolverines were within 14-5 with 10:24 remaining in the fourth quarter and were about to get the ball back.

But Wellington could not contain the ensuing free kick, and Atlantic recovered the fumble on the Wolverines 42. Four plays later, Ilimaleota connected with Gammage on a 17-yard touchdown to stretch the lead to 21-5 with 7:18 remaining.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Lake Worth’s Alex Pano, 13, advances in Doherty tournament
Lake Worth’s Alex Pano, 13, advances in Doherty tournament

The defending Amateur and Senior division champions each went the distance in Wednesday’s quarterfinal matches at the 86th Ione D. Jones/Doherty Women’s Amateur Championship at Coral Ridge Country Club. Playing her first competitive round of the tournament, Alexa Pano sank a 4-foot par putt to halve the 18th hole and defeat Courtney McKim...
Dave George: New FAU AD will need to babysit Lane Kiffin
Dave George: New FAU AD will need to babysit Lane Kiffin

Pat Chun goes into every job with his eyes wide open. He can handle being Mike Leach’s athletic director at Washington State, a move soon to be announced, just as he officially handled the hiring of Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic and confidently answered all the tough questions about said hire. And just as Chun handled leaving a comfortable...
Pair of Clemson players make CBS Sports’ list of college football’s top returning players
Pair of Clemson players make CBS Sports’ list of college football’s top returning players

Clemson defensive linemen Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins surprised some fans when they announced that they would return to the Tigers for their respective senior seasons. The duo figured to go fairly early in this spring’s NFL Draft, but they will instead finish their schooling and stick around for the 2018 season...
PGA champion Justin Thomas commits to 2018 Honda Classic

Jupiter resident Justin Thomas, the fourth ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking and reigning PGA champion, has committed to play in the 2018 Honda Classic. The PGA Tour event will be held February 19-25 at PGA National Resort & Spa. Thomas, 24, is coming off a breakthrough season in which he won five PGA Tour events including the PGA and...
WATCH: Oklahoma’s Gabbi Ortiz nails three as lights go out
WATCH: Oklahoma’s Gabbi Ortiz nails three as lights go out

More Stories