Wellington enjoyed its best season in school history last year, advancing to the state semifinals for the first time.
It didn't take the Skyrockets long to duplicate that feat. Wellington enters its state semifinal rematch against Munday with an impressive 13-0 record. That Wellington, which returned six starters on each side of the ball, has another chance to face the No. 1 Moguls at 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium isn't a surprise to coach Wade Williams.
"We thought we had the talent to get back to this point and get another shot at Munday again," said Williams, whose team has won its three playoff games by an average of 35 points. "But talking about getting here (with big wins) like we have — you couldn't predict that."
Wellington returns starting quarterback Klark Ashmore, who has thrown for 2,070 yards, 34 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Ashmore played through a wrist injury in the postseason a year ago, which forced some changes in the offense.
But the biggest difference between the 2011 Skyrockets that lost to the Moguls 62-22 in Childress and this year's bunch is the production Wellington is getting at running back.
Junior Terry Gilbreath played for Memphis last season before moving to Wellington and has rushed for 2,375 yards and 33 touchdowns on only 180 carries.
"He's fit right in and obviously has kind of been the missing piece to our puzzle on offense," Williams said. "He sees the field well and has a lot of speed. He can stop on a dime."
Williams said he has been pleased with his offensive linemen who have really stepped up this season, including sophomore center Jeffrey Collins. Linebacker has also been a position of strength with junior Edgar Tellez (team-high 92 tackles) leading the charge.
"He's a big, strong kid who wants to punish you and likes to get big hits," Williams said of Tellez. "He has those hits, but he also has speed to cover a running back out of the backfield."
While the Skyrockets have been tested only a couple times — their closest win was a 42-32 decision over Panhandle in early September — Williams knows where Wellington stands entering Friday's matchup.
"It's pretty obvious to everyone we're the underdog," he said. "A lot of people are saying they're one of the best Class A teams in some time. They're supposed to win."
Williams expects his team to fare better against the Moguls this week than they did in surrendering 62 straight points a year ago.
Regardless of Friday's outcome, Wellington has been one of Class A's best teams since Williams returned to his hometown before the 2008 season. In his five years, the Skyrockets are 56-6 and have posted four unbeaten regular seasons.