SPRING GARDEN – John Welsh ran for 121 yards on seven carries and scored three touchdowns. He also caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Chapel Pope and recovered a fumble on defense to lead Class 1A, No. 6 Spring Garden to a 43-14 Region 6 football victory over Donoho on Friday.
Pope added 196 yards on 13 carries with two scores for the Panthers (8-1, 4-1). He also had five tackles on defense. Connor Bates delivered 90 yards on 14 carries.
Pope got the Panthers rolling with an 8-yard touchdown run with 1:11 remaining in the first quarter. The extra point made it 7-0.
Donoho (4-4, 3-3) tied the game at 7 early in the second quarter on a 14-yard touchdown run, but Spring Garden regained the lead at 13-7 on Welsh’s first touchdown – a 5-yard score with 6:47 left in the first half.
The Falcons countered with a 12-yard touchdown run by Logan Melton with 2:49 remaining in the first half. The PAT put Donoho in front 14-13, but then the Panthers ended the game on a 30-0 run, beginning with Pope’s 83-yard touchdown run just 23 seconds later. After a successful 2-point conversion run by Connor Bates, the Panthers led 21-14.
Pope added another Spring Garden touchdown just before halftime on a 36-yard connection with Welsh for a 28-14 advantage.
Welsh opened the third quarter with an 86-yard touchdown run. His twin brother Jacob Welsh later registered a safety on defense. John Welsh scored the game’s final touchdown on a 13-yard run late in the third quarter.
Noah Barber added an interception on defense for the Panthers.
Spring Garden, which clinched a playoff spot on Friday, closes out its regular season on Friday with a trip to Ragland with region championship implications on the line.