By Chuck Reherman
A second district title in the bag.
And, it took Southwest Covenant just 24 minutes to secure it.
Southwest Covenant rolled to a second straight District C-3 title Friday night in routing Welch 48-0, ending the game at halftime.
The Patriots, 5-0 in the district and 7-0 overall, continued their regular season win streak at 17 with the one-sided win. SWCS sealed the title with the win since only one other team in the district race has one loss, Coyle, who is 4-1. SWCS beat Coyle and with only one game left on their schedule, the Patriots could finish no worse that 5-1 and still win the title since SWCS beat Coyle 38-14 in their meeting.
SWCS has an open week and will close out the regular season with a road game at Medford Nov. 8. As it stands now, the Patriots would host Webbers Falls, who would finish fourth in District C-4, in the opening round of the playoffs.
Friday night’s win over Welch, 0-7, was never really a contest. SWCS scored four times in the first quarter, two off Wildcat turnovers and scored on all six of their possessions. The game was played in a light, but steady rain throughout that first half.
“We wanted to go out and take care of business and get the game over with,” Patriot head coach Trey Cloud said. “They have struggled all season long on both sides of the ball and with the weather the way it was, we didn’t want to risk anything. You always hate to run rule someone in the first half because it didn’t give us a chance to play a lot of our young players.
“Our offense did a great job of moving the ball and we played good on defense,” he said. “It was good to wrap up the district title with one game to go and the guys are excited about getting to host a home playoff game again. We know we still have a tough regular season finale against Medford left before we really start thinking about the playoffs.”
The Patriots took the lead on their opening possession of the game as Ben Webb guided the offense and capped it with a 21-yard scoring pass to Will Haas, opening a 6-0 lead after the two-point conversion was stopped short.
After a Welch turnover, the Patriots got back on the board on an 11-yard Tyler Kelly touchdown run, opening 12-0 lead.
The SWCS defense has not scored often this season but put a score on the board when Cole Gatlin picked up a Welch fumble and returned it 10 yards for the score. Webb ran in the conversion to make it 20-0 with four minutes left in the quarter.
The Patriots got the ball after a three and out by Welch and Andrew Hickman caught a 20-yard scoring aerial from Webb and Ian Parker’s extra point made it 27-0.
Southwest Covenant’s defense shut down the Welch offense, allowing the Wildcats only 74 yards total in 33 plays. The Patriots had 274 yards of offense in 26 plays.
Webb capped the Patriots’ fourth scoring drive of night with a 10-yard. The drive went 45 yards in six plays and Parker’s extra point made it a 34-0 lead.
After a Welch punt, Kelly scored on the first play of the fifth possession of the game. Kelly broke a 72-yard run to open a 41-0 lead after a Parker extra point.
The Patriots got the ball back one more time in the first half with just over two minutes remaining. SWCS put together their final scoring drive with Bryce Koelsch scoring on an eight-yard run with two seconds remaining in the half. Parker’s fourth extra point of the night opened a 48-0 lead.
Webb completed six of nine passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Kelly caught three passes for 44 yards and Haas two for 35. Kelly led the rushing with three carries for 77 yards and Draake Rought had 47 on three.