Wellington overcomes slow start, defeats Boynton Beach 21-6


Wellington struggled on offense early but started clicking late.

Super 11 selection Mark-Antony Richards scored twice in the second half Friday night to lead Wellington to a 21-6 victory over Boynton Beach in a Kickoff Classic matchup.

“I feel like I didn’t have a good game at all,” Richards said. “I had two touchdowns. That’s OK, but I want to aim for four.”

Richards, a senior, was involved in the Wolverines’ first score of the night, but probably not in the way he would have liked.

The four-star recruit, who is No. 2 on the Post’s Big Board, muffed a punt and the ball was kicked 15 yards farther toward the Wellington end zone.

Senior Jadien Durant recovered the loose ball, cut around to the Wellington sideline and returned the ball about 60 yards for the first score of the night.

Richards scored his first touchdown with a 30-yard carry, then added a second on a 2-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Matt Shannon. Richards finished the game with 69 rushing yards on 10 carries, plus 41 receiving yards on three catches.

“Mark had a hell of a game,” coach Tom Abel said. “Mark had two big touchdowns for us — one catching, one receiving, just like his brother (Miami Hurricanes receiver Ahmmon Richards). Keeping it in the family.”

Wellington’s defense performed admirably, holding Boynton to one score and sacking quarterback Guenson Alexis 10 times.

“Nothing better,” said senior defensive lineman Stephen Passeggiata, who had four sacks. “Absolutely nothing better in the world. Once you make that play, once all your brothers come together, it’s amazing.”

But Boynton Beach’s defense kept the Tigers in the game for much of the night. The defensive backs read Wellington starting quarterback Austin Wallace, picking off three of his passes in the first half. Junior Verwayne Alexander had two interceptions and junior Charles Bryant had one.

The Tigers’ lone score came on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Alexis to Bryant, which cut Boynton’s deficit to 7-6, but the Tigers could not add any more to their total as the Wolverines defense consistently found its way into the backfield.

“Ten sacks,” Abel said. “Not too many teams in the county can do that. We’re going to be relentless and we’re going to be like a pack of dogs.”



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