No. 4 Fyffe defeats Wellborn in 2A playoffs


Fyffe's Will Mashburn and the Red Devils advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 2A playoffs Friday night with a 35-21 win over Walter Wellborn.


ANNISTON — Trent Thrash rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 4 Fyffe in a 35-21 win over Walter Wellborn in the second round of the Class 2A state high school football playoffs Friday night.

It was the third meeting in two years between the teams, with Fyffe winning all three games.

“We knew it was going to be tough on the road,” Fyffe coach Paul Benefield said, stressing Wellborn is a “quality” opponent.

Fyffe hosted Wellborn in a Week 5 regular season matchup and won it 34-6. The Red Devils won the 2012 regular season game against the Panthers 33-19. 

“We played them before and knew that the other games didn’t have anything to do with this and how tough they are at home,” Benefield said. “I just really thought our kids stuck it out physically with them and played hard.”

The win advanced Fyffe (11-1) to next week’s quarterfinals when it will host Lanett (11-0).  

Thrash led a punishing ground attack that rolled up 370 yards, with the senior scoring two touchdowns in the second half.

The game was decided in the fourth quarter, as the Red Devils took a 20-14 lead into the final 12 minutes after Thrash broke a 14-14 halftime tie with a 1-yard dive into the end zone at the 7:32 mark.

Wellborn regained the lead at 21-20 with nine minutes to go on Landon MaChristie’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Corri Tignor.

At the 6:54 mark, Austin Stiefel ran in for a 31-yard touchdown, and the 2-point  converion pass from Will Mashburn to James Carroll was good to give the Red Devils a 28-21 advantage.

Then the Fyffe defense stepped up, as William Brown intercepted a Walter Wellborn pass in the end zone to thwart a scoring drive.

A few plays later, Thrash added an insurance score on a 23-yard run.

The win meant the Red Devils will be going to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Fyffe continually played from behindas the Panthers scored the game’s first touchdown on Chantz Goodman’s 4-yard run late in the first quarter. Thrash’s first touchdown of the night came on a 2-yard run to tie the game with 3:23 remaining in the second quarter. But Goodman put the Panthers back on top quick with a 70-yard burst on the first play of their ensuing possession.

Stiefel, though, tied the game at 14 on a 15-yard touchdown run with 1:01 left in the half. He finished the game with 135 yards on 16 carries.