WELCH — The Webbers Falls Warriors made sure the 2023 postseason did not end the way it did in 2022 — losing their Class B openinground playoff game.
There was no chance of that happening as the Warriors routed the host Welch Wildcats 64-14 in a game that reached mercy-rule status with 7:18 left in the game.
The Warriors (9-2) will travel to meet the Weleetka Outlaws at 7 p.m. next Friday in a Class B second-round game. The Outlaws (10-1) blanked Barnsdall 46-0 Friday night at home in their playoff opener.
The ’Cats end the season at 8-3.
It only took 15 seconds for the Warriors to score as Maddux Shelby hit paydirt. Braydan Robinson scored the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead with 11:45 left in the first quarter.
After the Wildcats cut their deficit to 8-6 with 7:34 remaining in the period, Shelby returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. He also scored the two-point conversion for a 16-6 lead with 7:19 remaining in the quarter.
After the ’Cats cut their deficit to 16-14 with 1:19 left in the period, it only took 17 seconds for the Warriors to respond as Aiden Turley scored on the first play from scrimmage. Shelby’s two-point conversion gave Webbers Falls a 24-14 lead after the first quarter.
After getting a takeaway, the Warriors cashed it in on Shelby’s third TD of the first half to increase the Webbers Falls lead to 30-14 with 9:38 left before halftime.
After stopping Welch at the Webbers Falls 9-yard line with 5:32 remaining in the first half, the Warriors went 91 yards and Robinson hit paydirt to up the Webbers Falls advantage to 36-14.
After Turley’s interception gave the ball back to the Warriors with 1:16 left in the first half, Dylan Young capped the drive with a touchdown with 29 seconds remaining before halftime. Shelby’s twopoint conversion gave Webbers Falls a 44-14 halftime lead.
After the Warriors stopped the Wildcats on downs with 7:28 left in the third quarter, Shelby scored his fourth touchdown to put Webbers Falls ahead 50-14 with 6:22 remaining in the period.
After the Warriors stopped the ’Cats on downs on their ensuing drive with 3:33 left in the period, the Warriors cashed in the possession as Shelby took it to paydirt on the next snap for his fifth TD. Gunner Shelby scored the twopoint conversion for a 58-14 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats fumbled the ball, and Maddux Shelby picked up the loose pigskin and rambled the rest of the way for the game-ending touchdown with 7:18 left to play. It was his sixth touchdown on the night — the second straight week he accomplished that feat as he did so in the regularseason finale Nov. 2 at Quinton.
Webbers Falls player Braydan Robinson catches a pass during Friday night’s Class B opening- round playoff game at Welch, won by the Warriors 64-14 to advance them to a secondround road game against Weleetka at 7 p.m. next Friday.