The Circle Thunderbirds scored the first 17 points of the game and never looked back in beating the Wellington Crusaders 38-19 on Homecoming Night.


The Circle Thunderbirds scored the first 17 points of the game and never looked back in beating the Wellington Crusaders 38-19 on Homecoming Night.
The Thunderbirds, just coming off a heartbreaking loss at Clearwater a week earlier, opened up strong in the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division IV?matchup, taking the opening kickoff to midfield. Then Circle marched eight plays that was capped by a Kanyon Kinder 2-yard touchdown run.
Circle (3-1, 2-1), in recording its first victory over Wellington, improved the lead to 10-0 later in the first quarter on a 39-yard field goal by Brett Tunnell, and scored first in the next stanza when Trent Jacks got a 25-yard touchdown pass from Alex Gardinier.
Wellington (0-4, 0-3)?would get on the board when Ybarra made two huge runs, one for 36 and the next for 26 to give the Dukes their first touchdown. Then Wellington recovered a fumble and Ryan Jenkins scored from four yards out to make it 17-12.
Circle’s Jimi Hill scored on a 17-yard run on a scoring drive after a blocked punt to push the T-Birds ahead 24-12.
Kinder scored his second touchdown of the game, a one-yard score midway through the third quarter, and Gardinier threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Phillips just before the end of the stanza to push Circle ahead 38-12.
The Crusaders’ final score came on a 26-yard pass from Jenkins to Levi Anderson.
Circle gained 307 yards rushing as a team with Gardinier finishing with 104 yards rushing, Kinder 100 and Hill 70. Gardinier also completed eight of his 14 pass attempts for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
Ybarra rushed 25 times for 135 yards and one touchdown for Wellington, while Jenkins completed six-of-24 passes for 62 yards.
The T-Birds battle Wichita Collegiate in another league game this Friday at 7 p.m. in Wichita.