Fyffe clips Wellborn in Round 1

Kyle Dukes (26) breaks away from Panther defenders for a touchdown during the AHSAA’s first round of playoffs on Friday night. 

Class 3A, No. 2 Fyffe launched its quest for a fourth consecutive state championship by dominating Walter Wellborn 34-0 on Friday night at Paul Benefield Stadium/Ridgeway-Long Field.

The Red Devils (9-1) won their 54th consecutive home game and 16th straight state playoff game by relying on their punishing ground game and a bruising defense.

Fyffe rolled up 24 first downs and 362 yards rushing. The Red Devils didn’t attempt a pass.

Freshman running back Logan Anderson paced Fyffe with 11 carries for 144 yards. Senior quarterback Kyle Dukes gained 90 yards on 20 attempts, and junior running back Brodie Hicks ran 10 times for 59 yards.

Fyffe’s defense limited Walter Wellborn to five first downs and 92 total yards. It was the Red Devils’ fifth shutout during their current playoff streak.

The Red Devils scored on their first three possessions of the opening half.

Fyffe moved 55 yards on its initial drive, with Hicks scoring on a 1-yard run with 5:16 left in the first quarter. Fyffe missed the extra point.

Hunter Machen’s interception put the Red Devils’ offense in business at their 36-yard line with 3:40 remaining. Anderson broke free for a 45-yard gain to Wellborn’s 12, and he capped the drive with a 4-yard TD run with 1:11 on the clock.

Anderson added a two-point conversion, stretching Fyffe’s margin to 14-0.

On the next series, Wellborn failed to convert a fourth-and-four from the Fyffe 45, as Anderson and Hicks broke up a deep pass.

The Red Devils took over and marched 55 yards, with Anderson picking up 32 of them on a big run to Wellborn’s 20. Dukes exhibited a terrific second effort on a 4-yard TD run, as he dived across the goal line with 4:56 left in the second quarter. Anderson’s two-point run made it 22-0.

Fyffe opened the second half with an 11-play, 73-yard drive that consumed 6:37. Dukes’ 1-yard scoring run put Fyffe in front 28-0 with 5:23 remaining. The Red Devils missed the extra point.

Fyffe’s defense forced a three-and-out, and Will Stephens returned the punt 10 yards to his 37.

Stephens ripped off a 21-yard gain during the drive, which he finished with a 1-yard scoring run on the first snap of the fourth period. The Red Devils missed the extra point again.

Austin Mulligan’s sack stopped Walter Wellborn’s fourth-down conversion attempt with 6:55 left.

Walter Wellborn finished with a 5-5 record.

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