Wolverines wobble, Devils dominate in Spring Game

Wolverines wobble, Devils dominate in Spring Game

Lauren Alsina

Tyler Alexander, Sports Editor

Every year as summer begins to loom, High School football players gather to play their Spring Game. The Spring Game is meant to prepare upcoming players for the new roles they’ll be tackling next season after the loss of critical seniors. Some teams are better prepared at this point in the season overall for this transition. The Pahokee Blue Devils, are clearly well prepared. Pahokee made the trip to Wellington on May 24, 2013 to take on the Wellington Wolverines.
Inspired by the animated Head Coach Tom Abel, the Wolverines emerged from the locker room with tenacity and enthusiasm. If only it could’ve carried into the game. From the beginning of the game Wellington seemed lethargic on offense, even fumbling on their first possession. Wellington would recover the fumble, but the drive stalled shortly after.
The Wolverines running attack showed spurts of greatness, but, overall, the running backs were contained well by the swarming Pahokee defense. Throughout the game the offensive line for Wellington opened gaps, despite facing opposition loaded with extreme size, strength, and skill, which is all you can really ask for in a Spring Game. While gaps were seen, big runs were not hit throughout the game. While part of this can be attributed to the Blue Devils outstanding defense, the Wolverines will need to work on their explosiveness and strength this offseason.
The passing game also seemed a bit out of sync. While the Pahokee defensive backs did a great job of covering Wellington’s wide receivers, there were plays to be made, but unfortunately, Wellington could not capitalize. While there didn’t appear to be any miscommunication between the quarterback(s) and the wide receivers, the timing seemed a little off at time. Nothing some practice can’t fix though. It seems as though both of Wellington’s quarterbacks need to develop a rhythm with the wide receivers. The Wolverines switched quarterbacks often early, but mainly went with veteran Cole Smallridge in the second half. Smallridge did throw one interception in the second half on a great play made by the corner for Pahokee, and some missed timing between him and the wide receiver. While the passing game did seem a bit off in this game, it doesn’t seem like anything Wellington can’t solve during the summer. As long as the communication’s down between quarterback and receiver, practice will bring improvement.
Not only did Pahokee do well on the defensive end, but they also showcased their abilities on offense. The Blue Devils ran their offense with a few different packages, including a read-option. Their run-pass option play had great success against the Wolverines, who had difficulty containing Pahokee’s athletic quarterback. The Blue Devils seemed like they had been playing together forever, showing great attention to details. Wellington’s defense had difficulty dealing with such a poised Pahokee squad. The Wolverine defense hung in there as best they could against one of the elite teams in the area. All in all, Wellington gave up 35 points on defense.
When looking at the Spring Game from a growing standpoint, there is much to improve upon for Wellington. However, they are, clearly going in the right direction and have a solid base to grow a strong team.