Tuesday Nov. 29, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
The Webb City Cardinals repeated as the Missouri Class 4 football State Champions after their 56-42 victory over the MICDS Rams on Friday.
Webb City and MICDS took the field on Friday afternoon inside the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis to decide this years champion in class 4. The Cardinals came into the contest with a perfect 14-0 record coming off the last second win in Savannah just the week before. MICDS also brought with them a perfect 14-0 record after easily handling Farmington in the semis.
The Cardinals' offense took the field first after receiving the opening kickoff. The drive started with promise as the Cardinals were able to move the ball with their ground attack, but was cut short early as Breckin Williams' pass intended for Jarvis Jones was intercepted by Rams' defender Jack Howell.
The Rams were able to capitalize on the turnover by scoring after a 9 play, 65 yard drive on a 1 yard run by running back Michael Scherer.
The Cardinals answered on the next possession with an 8 play, 71 yard drive for the tying score. Jamison Cady carried the load on the drive with a 34 yard run to open the drive and the 11 yard scoring run to finish it.
MICDS went back to work relying on their passing game resulting in a 10 yard touchdown pass from Thomas Militello to Mac Cornwell to put the Rams back up 14-7 still in the first.
After a huge kickoff return of 58 yards by Rupert Williams set the Cardinals up at the Rams' 37, Breckin Williams kept the ball for a 31 yard touchdown run to knot the game back up at 14 apiece. The drive was only 2 plays and lasted 19 seconds.
Webb City had been chasing the Rams on the scoreboard to this point. That was about to change, however, as Alex Easely popped the ball up in the air on the kickoff landing it in the middle of the Rams' coverage team. The loose ball was recovered by the Cardinals at the MICDS 25 and credited as an onside kick. Shortly after, Breckin Williams would begin the second quarter with a 5 yard touchdown run to put the Cards on top for the first time.
The Cardinals would never trail again, though MICDS would match them score for score for most the remainder of the game. A 19 yard reception by MICDS' Cornwall and a 6 yard run by Webb City's Phoenix Johnson would both go for scores before the end of the half.
Each team would try to get yet another score before halftime. MICDS went 67 yards in 14 plays while eating 7:13 off the clock only to be stopped on a 4th down play to give the ball back to Webb City at their own 11 with 37 seconds left in the half. Webb City moved the ball quickly to the MICDS 31 to set up a 48 yard field goal attempt by Alex Easely which fell just short of the uprights as the half expired. The teams went into the locker rooms with Webb City on top 28-21.
The scoring did not let up in the third quarter as Foster Bundy would score on a 44 yard pass from Militello. The Cardinals answered back through the air with a 25 yard pass from Breckin Williams to tight end Kohl Slaughter. The Cardinals would force the first punt of the game on the next drive. Phoenix Johnson blocked the kick which was recovered by Nate Brown for Webb City at the Rams' 31 yard line. Williams would take the ball 18 yards 4 plays later for the score. This would be the first time there would be a 2 possession difference in the game as the Cardinals led 42-28.
The Rams answered with a 15 play drive to start the 4th quarter going 79 yards in five minutes to score on a 10 yard pass from Militello to William Morehead to pull back within one score. The Rams then lined up for an onside kick and successfully recovered at the Webb City 49. They would score 6 plays later from 39 yards on a 3rd and 12 pass play to Foster Bundy who made an amazing catch for the score to put the Rams back even with the Cardinals.
What many Cardinal fans were likely thinking was the possibility of a long, slow, methodical drive, reminiscent of the final minutes of the Savannah game, to get a final score leaving very little time for the Rams to catch up again. Instead, Breckin Williams broke free for a 76 yard touchdown run for a 2 play, 80 yard drive, draining only 54 seconds off the clock.
MICDS still had life, only down by 7 with 3:23 left in the game. They moved the ball down to the Webb City 33 where they then threw 3 incomplete passes to turn it over on downs. Webb City took over with 58 seconds. With MICDS still having their timeouts the Cardinals needed a first down to run out the clock. Phoenix Johnson got the first down and then kept running as he went 67 yards for the score. Webb City increased the margin of their lead 56-42 with only 49 second left in the game and the 2011 season.
As the Rams tried to move down the field Brent Greek intercepted the Militello pass. The Cardinals took a knee to end the game as the 2011 Missouri Class 4 State Champions of football.
The Rams of MICDS were no doubt the most potent offense that these Cardinals had faced as they passed for 415 yards on their way to scoring 42 points. The two teams combined for 1041 yards of offense and 98 points. MICDS won the time of possession battle as they held on to the ball for 31:50, compared to only 16:10 for the Cardinals.
Phoenix Johnson led the Webb City rushing attack with 192 on 18 carries and 2 touchdowns. Breckin Williams and Jamison Cady each ran for 144 yards. Cady had one score, while Williams accounted for 5 touchdowns with 4 on the ground and the one touchdown pass to Slaughter. Alex Easely was perfect kicking the extra points.
The Webb City Cardinals now have 10 state championships in football, which tied the state record on Friday with Rockhurst, Jefferson City and Valle Catholic. (Valle won the day after the Webb City championship game to take sole possession of the record with 11 championships.)
This was also the seventh state championship for Head Coach John Roderique since 1997.
Congratulations to all of the 2011 Webb City Cardinal players and coaching staff.
Wednesday Nov. 23, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
It's not often that we get to witness such an incredible football game as we did this past Saturday afternoon in Savannah. The Savannah Savages came into the contest making a name for themselves by beating northwest Missouri powers Kearney and Harrisonville. It was clear early on that they had no fear of the mighty Webb City Cardinals.
The Savages took the ball first on the opening kickoff and marched the ball down the field on their opening drive. They efficiently ran the ball at the Cardinal defense, facing only one third down, to go 74 yards in 8 plays as senior quarterback Black McFadden scored the first touchdown to put the Savages up 7-0 after the extra point.
The Cardinal offense stalled on it's first possession and were forced to punt after a 3 and out, but the punt was blocked by Zane Wilt setting up the Savages at the Webb City 32. After a couple of short runs a 22 yard touchdown pass from McFadden to Blake Deal would put the Savages up by 14 points only 7 minutes into the game.
The situation would not get any better for Webb City. They would continue to make mistakes and Savannah would continue to capitalize. Webb City started to move the ball on the next possession but lost it on a fumble by Jamison Cady which gave the Savages the ball at their own 41. Savannah would continue to assert themselves on the ground as they ran for 53 yards on a 18 play drive which was capped off with a 4 yard score by Andy Meyers. The extra point made it 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
Webb City finally had some good things happen as they used their ground game to churn 80 yards in 9 plays, using just under 3 minutes, with Breckin Williams taking the ball 13 yards to put the Cards on the board as Savannah still led 21-7.
Savannah would score again before the half on a 41 yard field goal by Meyers to increase the Savages' lead 24-7.
By this time the wind had shifted out of the north bringing in cloud cover and bitterly cold conditions compared to the sunny 65 degrees the crowd was enjoying just before kickoff. By the time the game was over the temperature would drop nearly 30 degrees.
Coach Roderique knew he would have to light a fire under his team during half time and was eager to get the ball back. “We get the ball back in the second half,” Roderique said, “We need to be productive offensively and we've got to stop them. The biggest thing was we never stopped them.”
The Savages rarely failed to convert a third down in the first half, and when they did fail they converted on fourth down. They were even able to convert a 3rd and 21 as Andy Meyers got loose for a 38 yard run which helped set up the field goal.
Roderique continued, “They really did a great job possessing the ball and keeping the ball away from us. If you can't stop anybody you'll never have a chance to win, but that's what it's going to take for us to get back in the second half.”
The Cardinals did receive the kickoff to open the second half and knew it was important that they try to get something going to have a shot at making a comeback. The offense responded by driving the ball 79 yards in only 7 plays. Jamison Cady broke free for a 52 yard run, the longest run of the day, and set up Webb City with a 1st and goal from the 8. Then on 3rd and 1 Phoenix Johnson took the ball in to cut the Savages' lead to 24-14.
The burden now shifted to the Cardinal defense to see if they could make a stop; something they had not done all day. They Savages were able to get a couple first downs, but eventually were forced to punt.
Following the punt Webb City took over at their own 6 yard line. The Cardinals were able to to get the ball back out to mid-field before being forced to punt back to the Savages. The Webb defense forced a three and out. The Blake McFadden punt would net 69 yards to once again start the Cardinals' drive at their own 6.
Breckin Williams was able to get the Cardinals out of the goalposts' shadow with a 14 yard run out to the 20, but would lose the ball a couple of plays later on a fumble. After the recovery, the Savages took over at the Cardinal 23, no doubt smelling blood in the water. But before they could strike, on the very first play of the drive Phoenix Johnson was able to knock the ball loose which was recovered by Nate Brown to give the ball back to the Cardinals at their own 12.
The Cardinals began the fourth quarter with the ball and quite a bit of momentum having scored and holding the Savages off during the third quarter. On 1st and 10 from the Savannah 45 Williams dropped back and completed the pass to Kohl Slaughter deep down the middle of the field who carried the ball down to the 8. Breckin Williams would dive in a couple plays later on a 3rd and inches to narrow the gap to 3 as the Savages still led 24-21.
The Savages began the next drive at the 19 after a short kick return and were only able to make one first down before being forced to punt.
Klay James signaled for a fair catch at the Cardinal 40 yard line with 5:56 left to go in the fourth quarter. From there Webb City would rely totally on their run game as they chewed up the clock running 18 plays - the last of which was a 4th and inches at the half yard line. With only 10 seconds on the clock the Cardinals never even hesitated to go for the win as they gave the ball to Phoenix Johnson who crossed the goal line to give Webb City their first lead of the game with only 4 seconds left on the clock. The Easely kick put the Cards up 28-24.
The Savages would attempt to lateral back and forth on the kickoff return as a last effort to win the game, but the ball eventually fell to the ground and was secured by Todd Fowler to seal the victory for Webb City.
“That's about as exciting a game as you can have,” said Coach Roderique. Perhaps that's an understatement, but he was, for the most part, at a loss for words following the game. However, he did say, “It just says a lot about (the team's) mental toughness. We talked about believing. You gotta be able to believe in your teammates. These guys just really stepped up today and came out and played like a different team in the second half.”
While Savannah's season ended in a stunning heart-breaker, the Cardinals' season continues after the thrilling victory. Webb City is set to play 14-0 MICDS on Friday at 4:15pm at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis for the state championship.
MICDS (Mary Institute Catholic Day School) runs a spread offense and deadly passing attack which is balanced by a strong running game led by senior running back Michael Scherer. MICDS has scored a total of 599 points through 14 games and has allowed 265 points which is closely comparable to Webb City's 604 points scored on the season and 145 points allowed by their opponents.
Scherer is someone to watch as a three star recruit on rivals.com and verbally committed the University of Missouri as a linebacker.
This will be Coach Roderique's 7th trip to the Dome as Webb City's head coach and the 12th Show-Me-Bowl appearance in school history. A win will earn Webb City a 10th state championship trophy as well as being Roderique's 6th.
We here at webbcityfootball.com would like to encourage all the Cardinal fans going up to try to get there early and cheer on the other southwest Missouri team, the Lamar Tigers, as they compete in their first state championship game in their school's history. That game kicks off at 1:00.
And of course we wish safe travels to all the teams, coaches, families and all the fans making the journey up to St. Louis this weekend.
Wednesday Nov. 16, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
Hillcrest began in poor field position and were unable to move the ball against Webb's defense. They were forced to punt. The Cardinals took over and efficiently moved the ball with their running game. Then Jamison Cady sprung free for the touchdown.
If you were to read that last paragraph about 6 more times you've pretty much got the whole game story. Although, in one case it was Phoenix Johnson scoring and Trey Parra on another. Cady would add 5 touchdowns to his season total by the end of the afternoon.
It didn't start out well for Hillcrest Saturday afternoon as the opening kickoff was downed by the return man at the 1 yard line. In a moment of frustration, the young man drew a delay of game penalty by spiking the football, moving the ball back to about the 1 foot line which was where the Hornets would have to start. Webb City held them to a three and out forcing them to punt, setting the Cardinals up in with great field position with the ball at the Hornets' 26 yard line. It would take only plays to get into the endzone as Cady would score his first from 1 yard out.
Cady would score again on the next drive from 38 yards, and again from 5, and again from 12 all in the first half. Phoenix Johnson would score early in the third quarter on a 24 yard run before Cady would get his fifth and final touchdown of the afternoon from on another 1 yard run. Trey Parra scored midway through the 4th quarter on a 3 yard run.
The Cardinals relied entirely on the ground attack Saturday rushing for a total of 478 yards while completing no passes. Coach Roderique praised the offensive line play. “It was a great job by our offensive line. Against an offensive football team like this we want to really try to control the game with our offense,” said Roderique. After individually naming his blockers “Kohl Slaughter, Jordan Green, Carson Powell, center Seth Watkins, Gage Belcher, Clayton Temaat and Cooper Srasser,” he continued, “Those guys did a tremendous job today of controlling the line of scrimmage and getting a push up front and I think we executed pretty good most of the day.”
The big story was of course that of the Hillcrest Hornets' star receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. This young man has put fear into defenses all over the state. His athletic abilities at the receiver position has attracted so much attention from colleges around the nation that he has been rated as the number one recruit in all of America. Having said that, Webb City held the young phenom to 57 yards on 7 receptions. Be careful not to downplay DGB based on what you may have seen Saturday. He is the real deal and there's a reason every college in the nation wants him. Let's not forget that has caught for more yards than any high school player in the the entire nation, EVER. No, really that should just impress on us all the more of the team speed and discipline of this Webb City defense. Coach Roderique commented, “I thought our coaches did a tremendous job preparing our kids and our kids really executed things well. Seems like every chance they had, if they caught a ball, we had somebody there. And that's huge against a team like this. If they get running full speed with a ball in their hands. They can all run and do a lot of things with the ball when they get it.”
Webb City's success was a true team effort with the coverage being in the right zones and the front getting good pressure on the quarterback. “Watching film you see people chasing (Green-Beckham,)” said Roderique, “but the big key, we felt like, was to try to be close. If you had somebody close when they caught the ball that was your best opportunity.”
“The one time they ran the flea flicker, they had it, Dorial was down the middle of the field and we happened to get some pressure on the quarterback.”
The Webb City defense played lights out allowing only a team total of 109 offensive yards for the Hornets and threw a shutout as the Cardinals rolled on to win by the final score of 49-0.
Up next for the Cardinals is a state semi-final showdown against the Savannah Savages. Savanna's road to the semis went through Kearney and Harrisonville. Though most people were not expecting a Savannah/Webb city match up, don't underestimate this team as they have proven that they can compete with and beat teams that are among the best in the state. They are very similar to Webb in many respects. Both teams are considered “undersized” but are still very physical and fast. This may be the fastest overall team speed that Webb has faced.
Another story line is that of the Humphrey family connection. Savannah's Athletic Director is Bruce Humphrey, former WCHS quarterback and brother to current Webb City coaching staff member Doug Humphrey. Thrown also into the mix is Doug's son, starting outside linebacker Dalton Humphrey who will be looking across the sidelines at his cousin, Jake Humphrey, a sophomore player for the Savages. It looks like the whole family will be up there, so let's all join them to watch what is shaping up to be a great semi-final game. The winner goes to the Dome! Let's give the Cards all our support by making the trip to cheer them on to victory.
Tuesday November 8, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
The Webb City Cardinals were able to handle the Helias Crusaders in Sectional round playoff action in Cardinal Stadium on Monday night. The Cardinals put on an offensive clinic scoring 9 touchdowns while racking up 676 total offensive yards on their way to a 63-21 victory.
The Webb City offensive unit seemed to be able to do anything they wished, seemingly scoring at will and controlling the ball when they wanted. But that didn't stop Helias from making it very interesting. Helias jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on the opening drive as their passing game took them down the field in only 5 plays, the last of which was a 14 yard scoring run by senior running back Brendan Roberts.
Webb City quickly answered back with a 4 play scoring drive of their own. Staring from their own 39, Breckin Williams dropped back on the Cards' first play and sent the ball deep to Jarvis Jones to take it down to the Crusaders' 16. Phoenix Johnson then took the ball in 2 plays later from 5 yards out as he dove for the pylon to even the score at 7 all.
The Webb City defense was then able to hold the Crusaders to a three and out, helped in large part to a QB sack by Dalton Humphrey to set up a 3rd and 22. The crusaders were unable to convert and were forced to punt.
Webb took over after the punt at their own 47 and immediately went back to the air. Williams connected with Jalen Vaden for 26 yards to take the Cards to the Crusaders' 27 yard line. From there the Cardinals kept it on the ground, capping the drive with a 1 yard dive by Williams for the score to put the Cards up by 7.
The Crusaders, though, would come right back with a 58 yard run by Brendan Roberts off the option pitch for a score to complete a 4 play, 80 yard drive to bring Helias back even with the Cardinals at 14 apiece.
The short kickoff by Helias was returned to the Cardinal 43 by Kohl Slaughter to start the next drive. Although the drive was plagued by penalties, a holding and a false start by the Cardinals, they were able to overcome thanks to a 56 yard run by Breckin Williams to set the Cards up at the Crusaders' 9. Johnson would take it in 2 plays later from 8 yards to put Webb City back on top at 21-14.
Forcing a three and out, the Cards took over following the punt at the Crusaders' 39 yard line. Webb City took to flight on the first play as Williams sent it deep down the middle to Vaden who made the grab and took it the distance. At the end of the first quarter Webb City was leading Helias 28-14.
Webb City started the 2nd quarter with a strong defensive stand holding the Crusaders in their own territory on a 3rd and 1 and a 4th and inches to get the turnover on downs. Webb took over at the Crusaders' 29. Webb City turned it into points as Williams found Phoenix Johnson for a 26 yard touchdown pass. “That was huge,” said Coach Roderique on the 4th down stop. He added, “That was a big play and we converted points,” by capitalizing with the touchdown.
The Webb defense came up big on the next drive by not allowing Helias' quarterback Aaron Vossen to get comfortable, forcing him to throw an errant pass to be intercepted by defensive back Klay James.
Webb City would not be able to capitalize on the turnover, however, as they turned it over themselves on a fumble at the Crusaders' 11. Likewise, Helias could not capitalize on the turnover as Webb forced a three and out. Webb would then take the ball 65 yards in 9 plays with a 21 yard run by Breckin Williams for the touchdown.
Helias then rallied a drive late in the half to go 71 yards in 9 plays. Vossen found Andrew Stiles on a deep pass. Klay James was there to make a big hit sending Stiles end over end, but Stiles came down inside the end zone to cut the Cardinal's lead in half. The teams went into the locker room after a very exciting first half with the scoreboard reading 42-21 with Webb on top.
“We wanted to come into the game mixing things up a lot and we were able to do that,” says Roderique. He also stated, “Certainly, in the first half we threw the ball quite a bit...
tried to keep them off balance from that standpoint.”
The Cardinals did indeed find much success in the passing game. Webb City has shown this year that they can throw the ball, but the run game is always the bigger part of the game plan. What made the passing attack so potent this week? Roderique explained, “We got a lot of one on one match-ups out on the edge and they literally commit 8, 9, 10 guys on the line of scrimmage to stop the run, depending on the formation. So, we felt like we could do some things against them in the passing game... But we were certainly able to mix things up enough and that's certainly what we wanted to do.”
But don't be mistaken. While the passing game was certainly on fire and deserves much praise, the Cards certainly didn't neglect their run game. Webb City totaled 494 rushing yards with 3 different players, Williams, Johnson and Cady each rushing for over 100 yards. Jamison Cady led the pack with 157 yards while Williams and Johnson earned 140 and 136, respectively. Williams ran for 2 touchdowns while Johnson had 3 on the ground and one touchdown receiving.
Williams finished the game 6 of 11 passing for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns including one to Jalen Vaden. Jarvis Jones and Kohl Slaughter each had one catch; Jones for 55 yards and Slaughter for 26.
Coach Roderique observed, “It's nice to see a lot of different guys contributing and stepping up and make plays.”
But Coach Roderique was not all pleased with the first half performance. “We were kind of reeling that first half. We didn't play very well on defense,” said Roderique. “Very disappointed in how we played in the first half. Our coaches do too good a job preparing our kids and they work too hard for us to play like that in the first half, defensively,” he added. And remembering how Helias got to this point Roderique noted, “When you've got a team that won the last two weeks in the last minute, by halftime I didn't know if we were going to score enough points for what was going on out there.”
Whatever the coaches said at halftime must have sunk in. The Cardinals shut out the explosive Helias offense in the second half. The Webb City offense, however, continued rolling just as in the first half. Phoenix Johnson scored on a 4 yard run for his fourth touchdown of the night with a little more than 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Then John Roderique and Rupert Williams added fourth quarter scores, Roderique with a 19 yard run and Williams with a 21 yard run.
Alex Easely was perfect kicking the extra points and accounted for 9 of Webb City's points.
Coach Roderique was much more pleased with the defensive effort in the second half. “I thought we had a little better focus, a little better effort in the second half,” he said. As usual he also gave much credit to the big guys up front saying, “When you play well, those guys up front have to be doing an outstanding job. You have to give those offensive linemen and tight ends a lot of credit.”
With the win Webb City will move on to the state quarterfinals where they will travel to Springfield to face the Hillcrest Hornets. Hillcrest defeated Union 28-21 in their sectional game to advance to the quarters. Coach Roderique said about the upcoming contest, “We feel good to still be playing, looking forward to the match up. Obviously, going against one of the top players in the nation and it's going to be a great challenge.” Coach Roderique is of course referring to Dorial Green-Beckham (DGB), the number one college recruit in the nation. If you don't know who he is, just do a google search and you'll find out pretty quick, it's a big deal.
Kickoff is set for 1:30 Saturday afternoon at Shumate Stadium located adjacent to Hillcrest High School in Springfield.
Saturday Nov. 5, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
It was a night to be endured by only the most loyal fan. Although there was a good turnout for a Wednesday night high school football playoff game, there was no shortage of empty seats. But don't feel bad if you were unable to brave the weather, since most of the ones in attendance were probably wishing they were home. The only thing keeping them there was the great show being put on by the Webb City Cardinals (10-0) and the visiting Bolivar Liberators(9-1.)
Bolivar came out strong and ready to play as they held the Cardinals back on their first drive, forcing a punt after a three and out. The Liberators then used little time and only 3 plays to march down the field and score on a 33 yard run by the the quarterback, Peavey, to take an early 7-0 lead over the Cardinals.
The Cardinals responded with a 16 play scoring drive that took more than 7 minutes as Williams, Johnson and Cady slowly worked the ball down the field. The drive was capped by an 11 yard pass from Breckin Williams to Jarvis Jones to put the Cards on the board and tie the game at 7.
The Bolivar offense then seemed to implode on their next drive with 3 false start penalties and a three and out. On the punt attempt the punter was unable to control the snap and the Cardinals were there to take him down at the Bolivar 21, which is where the Cards took over. This set up a Phoenix Johnson scoring run from 2 yards out to put the Cardinals up for the first time in the ball game 14-7 with 10:28 left in the first half.
Bolivar, however, was not content to let the momentum swing to the Cards just yet. The Liberators' standout athlete Darnell Walker took the pitch from the 30 to sweep around the near sideline where he was contained. Walker reversed course and took it to the far side where he finally broke free for the long scoring run. Although he was only credited for 70 yards on the run, he probably ran somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 yard or more by the time the play was finished. The game was tied once again with each team at 14.
The Cardinals would answer back with a 33 yard pass as the Williams/Jones duo would connect again for a score with 5:38 left in the half with Webb up 21-14. Webb City would hold on to the lead from this point, but Bolivar never went away forcing Webb City to earn every yard they got. Just before the half, Williams put up a pass for TE Kohl Slaughter who was being guarded by Walker. Slaughter was able to make the play and come down with the ball. Walker showed good strength and concentration as he was able to rip the ball from grasp of the powerful tight end. Slaughter, however, showed great awareness and hussle by locating the ball and falling on it to retain possession for the Cardinals. This paid off two plays later when Johnson was able to put it in for a score on a 2 yard run to put the Cardinals up 28-14 at the half.
The second half started with each team turning it over on downs – Bolivar first, then Webb City – then Bolivar would be forced to punt after a three and out. Webb City would then get moving on offense going 56 yards in 11 plays with Kohl Slaughter taking in a 3 yard touchdown pass from Williams to put the Cards up 35-14.
Later, capitalizing on a Webb City fumble, Peavey put the ball in the air intended for Walker. In spite of the pass being very well defended by Rowdy Laughlin, an uncalled offensive pass interference on Walker and the ball hitting the turf, Walker came up with the ball for a touchdown.
With only 3:59 remaining in the game and down by 2 scores Bolivar converted an onside kick attempt giving them the ball at the their own 46. They would prove unable to do anything with it though as Webb City got to Peavey on 4th down for a sack and a turnover on downs.
Webb City would go on to win by the final score 35-21.
The Cardinals came out on top, but not without some adversity. They were down early in the game and had a difficult time putting this physical Bolivar team away. Quarterback Breckin Williams was also a little banged up as he hyper-extended his knee in the second half and came out of the game. He came back in a couple plays later and finished the game. He told us on Thursday that it felt a little tight but he would be good to go.
A key injury suffered by the Cardinals Wednesday was that of defensive back Austin White. White suffered a dislocated elbow late in the game and will be out a minimum of 2 weeks, says team sources. White has been a play maker this season at the position, and has earned himself a reputation as a ball hawk. His presence in the secondary could be missed this week as the Cardinals prepare to take on the pass-first attack from Helias.
For the third time in 4 years Webb City will meet Jefferson City Helias in post-season play. This is the first time, however that Webb will be the host. Last year Webb City traveled to Jefferson City in the sectional round, and in 2008 the two teams met at the Dome in St. Louis with the state championship on the line. Webb City won both meetings and looks to take this victory to advance in the bracket.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 Monday evening at Cardinal Stadium. It shouldn't be as cold as Wednesday, but the forecast is calling for rain and possible thunderstorms with temperatures in the 50s around game time. If we don't get rained out we hope to see everyone there.
Sunday Oct. 30, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
The Webb City Cardinals won the District 11 title Thursday evening with a 48-7 victory over the visiting Carl Junction Bulldogs. With the win the Cardinals were able to secure home field advantage for the Regional round of the playoffs on Wednesday night. They will once again face the Bolivar Liberators who were defeated in a tight battle at the hands of Helias from Jefferson City. The loss to Helias was the only one suffered by Bolivar this season. Webb City goes into the match-up with an unblemished record of 10-0.
The Cardinals ended the regular season in an easily decided victory as they played determined and inspired football against the Bulldogs. While the offense was able to seemingly score at will, it was once again the defense that put on another great showing. CJ's second drive went 56 yards in 12 plays as they methodically moved down the field to the Cardinals' 3 yard line. But that was where the Webb D stopped bending and held the Bulldogs on 4th down for the turnover.
The Cardinals then took the ball 98 yards in only 5 plays ending with a touchdown run by TE Kohl Slaughter from 6 yards out.
Phoenix Johnson had the first touchdown run of the game from 15 yards, while the emerging receiver Jalen Vaden had the last score of the first quarter on a 31 yard pass from Breckin Williams to make the score 21-0 at the end of the period.
The teams went into the locker room for half-time with the Cards up 34-0 after Breckin Williams and Phoenix Johnson has scoring runs of 24 and 19 yards, respectively.
The second half would see mass subs come in and out of the game for the Cardinals, giving everyone valuable and well-deserved field experience. But first, Phoenix Johnson would score on the opening drive of the half on a 52 yard scoring run.
Junior quarterback John Roderique would get the final score for the Cardinals on a 7 yard run.
In the fourth quarter the Webb City defense again showed great determination as the group of second and third string defenders was make a goal line stand on 4th down, just as the starters had done in the first quarter. They did finally allow a CJ touchdown with 2:05 left on the clock, but the game was well in hand by that point.
Coach Roderique said that this was “the most complete game” that the team had played. This bodes well as the Cardinals go into playoffs. We've already seen what they are capable of doing against much bigger and better teams; it will be exciting to see how they perform through the post-season now that they appear to be firing on all cylinders.
The Bolivar Liberators come to town on Wednesday night to challenge the Cardinals in the first round of the Missouri playoffs. This should indeed be a challenge for the Cardinals as Bolivar brings a big, athletic and well-coached team. Their only loss was to the perennial powerhouse Helias in a very close game. If Webb City wins, they will play the winner of the Helias/Carthage game, which will be played in Jefferson City.
Congratulation to the Webb City Cardinals on another perfect 10-0 regular season, another COC Large championship, another district 11 championship as well as extending the regular season winning streak to 81 games. We here at webbcityfootball.com wish the Cardinals the best as they prepare to journey though the playoffs.
Podcast- Due to the short weeks during the first 2 rounds of playoffs we will not be able to secure time to to talk to Coach Roderique or the opposing teams' Coach. We are sorry for this as we know that the podcast is one of the most anticipated weekly features of our website. But if (when) the Cards win the sectional round we will resume our weekly routine and have a podcast going into the quarter-final round as well as reviewing the regional and sectional rounds. We thank you for your support.
Monday Oct. 24, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
There is always concern about a team coming out flat following a big emotional game like Webb City had last week against Carthage. But it didn't take long to realize that this week's Cardinals were focused and determined to come out strong against the Mustangs Friday night. The Mustangs received the ball first, but after only 3 plays Webb City free safety Logan Williams came up with an early interception and took it 28 yards for the score.
The Cardinals' next drive started at the Mustang 49 and went 8 plays, capped off with a 3 yard strike from Breckin Williams to Jalen Vaden.
The Cardinal defense came out strong again holding the Mustangs only 1 yard gain on the next drive, including a 3rd down pass that fell into Jarvis Jones' hands although he was unable to hold on to the interception. Jones would, however, redeem himself on the next play as the Mustangs lined up to punt. Jones was able to come around the edge to block the kick. Logan Williams was again there to take the ball to the endzone for another Webb City non-offensive score.
The Cardinal offense would get another chance to add to the board after getting another short field, this time starting from the Mustang 41. Phoenix Johnson would end the drive with a scoring run from 5 yards.
The first quarter ended with the Cardinals up by a score of 28-0, and that was pretty much the way it went for the rest of the game.
Before the backups started coming into the game midway through the second quarter, Phoenix Johnson was able to rattle off a 77 yard run with 7:44 remaining in the half to bring the score to 35-0.
An interception by Austin White set up the Cardinal second string offense at the Mustang 20 yard line. They were able to capitalize in only 3 plays. Quarterback John Roderique was able to score from 9 yards. The Mustangs were able to score late in the half to make the halftime score 42-6.
The second half started out fast as Webb received the ball and took the first play from scrimmage for a score on an Austin Sanders 49 yard touchdown run. The Mustangs had attempted an onside kick to begin the half, but it was recovered by the Cardinals, once again giving them great field position.
The Mustangs then put together a drive for a third quarter touchdown making it 49-13 to end the quarter.
Both teams scored again in the final period. Webb scored with just under 3 minutes left to play as Sophomore Kyle Baldasarre took the pitch from his classmate Mason Williams to go in for an 18 yard score. The Mustangs would score on the final play of the game. Webb City came away with a convincing victory by the score of 56-19.
Webb City can claim the prize as district champions with a win this Thursday night as they host Carl Junction.
Monday Oct. 17, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
Who could ask for a better night for High School football as the sun descended on the mid-October evening on Friday night. The cool, crisp autumn air only added to the atmosphere at Cardinal Stadium as thousands turned out to fill the stands as well as line the fences; only typical when the Webb City Cardinals host the Carthage Tigers.
The 7-0 Cardinals began district play on Friday night against the 5-2 Carthage Tigers. But the records don't mean anything anymore when districts begin, especially when it involves these long time rivals. 'Everything goes out the window' was the sentiment heard from coaches and players alike.
Could the Tigers keep up with the #1 ranked Cardinals? Could the speedy Webb defense contain the fast and elusive Carthage running back Seth Beckner?
The Cardinals received the opening kickoff and began their drive at the Tiger 33 yard line after a Phoenix Johnson return. The Tiger defense set the tone for the half as they forced Webb City to a three and out. But the Tigers' first drive would also stall after getting a pair of first downs in the course of 10 plays. Carthage would punt to give the ball back to Webb City at their own 10. Four plays later, Phoenix Johnson took the hand-off from the 16 where the Carthage defense forced the ball from his grasp and recovered it at the 15. It then took the Tigers 7 plays to go 15 yards where Seth Beckner was finally able to get in from 2 yards to get the first score of the game with 10.2 seconds left in the first quarter. After the kick attempt sailed wide left, the Carthage Tigers had a 6-0 advantage over the Cardinals.
After a Rupert Williams return on the kickoff, the Cardinals started their next drive at their own 18. The Cardinal offense finally started to click as they efficiently moved down the field without ever facing a third down. The drive was closed out by a 37 yard pass from Breckin Williams to junior receiver Jalen Vaden as he was able to get behind his defender for the first Cardinal score of the night with 9:58 remaining in the first half. “It feels great. It felt pretty good to get it finally,” said Vaden on his first career varsity touchdown. The Cardinals now held a 7-6 lead.
Carthage, however, was not finished. They took the next drive from the 33 and methodically marched down the field. The 17 play drive, which featured Beckner, took nearly 8 ½ minutes off the clock and included 2 successful fourth down conversions. After stalling out at the Cardinal 7, the Tigers settled for a field goal to reclaim the lead, 9-7 with 1:30 remaining in the half.
With not much time to work with, the Cardinals put their 2 minute offense into play to get to the Tiger 15 where they then also settled for a field goal. Alex Easley put it through for 3 from 32 yards out to make the halftime score 10-9.
Carthage was very proud of their effort up to this point and were going into the locker room with their heads up and pumping up the visiting crowd. They had played a nearly flawless game by keeping the Webb City offense off the field, creating turnovers and putting points on the board. This was no small task. This was the first rushing touchdown given up by Webb's number one defense all season. Cardinal linebacker, Dalton Humphrey told us that they were very upset to let that happen and were determined to come together as a team to take control of the game in the second half.
Coach Roderique commented on the first half effort, “They really came out and hit us in the mouth. They did a greatt job. They took us off balance.”
Seth Beckner by far had the bulk of the workload for Carthage as he had 21 carries and accounted for the majority of the Tigers' yardage. “We didn't tackle him very well,” said Roderique. “He was always falling forward, always making something out of nothing.”
The Cardinals kicked off to start the second half and then got things going in the right direction as they were able to force a stop and then turn around and put together a scoring drive of their own. Key plays included a 51 yard pass from Williams to Jarvis Jones to set the Cardinals up at the Tiger 13 yard line and then a fourth down pitch to Jamison Cady for a 5 yard touchdown run with 5:50 in the third. With the Cards on top 17-9 they again forced a Tiger punt. The Cardinal offense took the ball down to set up another Alex Easely field goal, this time from 37 yards out. The field goal made it 20-9 in Webb's favor with 2:26 remaining in the third quarter.
Phoenix Johnson found the endzone in the fourth quarter on an 8 yard run that was set up by a 35 yard catch and run by TE Kohl Slaughter.
The Tigers answered that score immediately with a 68 yard pass to Seth Beckner to narrow the margin to 27-17 after a successful conversion run by Beckner with 7:24 left in the game.
Big plays create momentum, and it could have been easy for the big Beckner score to shift momentum to the Tigers direction. But the Cardinals decided to swing it back on their side as they took the next possession 71 yards in 2 plays. First was a 29 yard run by Breckin Williams, and then a 42 yard run by Phoenix Johnson for the touchdown.
The Tigers immediately went to work through the air, but the first pass of the drive fell into the hands of Cardinals' free safety Logan Williams for the interception. Webb City then found the endzone one last time as Johnson plunged in from just inches outside the goal line in the final minute and a half.
The Cardinals won the game by the final score of 41-17 in a game that was much more intense that the score would indicate.
The Tigers put up a fight, but simply didn't have the numbers to compete. Coach Guidie reported to us that they only played 14 guys on offense, defense and special teams. Although he was proud of their effort and felt they played well, he felt they simply ran out of gas.
The Cardinal defense again had a very good night allowing only 223 yards of which 172 yards were accounted for by Seth Beckner, including his long 68 yard touchdown reception.
“We knew that Seth was going to be fast,” said Cardinal defender Logan Williams. “We tried to keep him from getting any big yards and I think we did just that.” Although he did break the one catch and run for 68 yards, his rushing average was 3.3 as he ran for only 100 yards on 30 carries for the game and had a rushing long of 8 yards. Webb City running back Phoenix Johnson ran for 135 yards on 20 carries for a 6.8 average while Breckin Williams had just over 10 yards per carry as he ran 102 yards on 10 rushes.
The Cardinals now control their own destiny in the district tournament having won the first game. Next up on the schedule is McDonald County. The Cards will travel to Anderson this week to take on the Mustangs in week 2 of district action.
Sunday Oct. 9, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
It took a little longer than usual for the Cardinal offense to get things going Friday night against the St. Thomas Aquinas defense. Their first two possessions ended with punts; the second of which was a three-and-out. It wasn't until the third possession that the Cardinals finally put together a 58 yard, 9 play drive that ended with a Phoenix Johnson run from 6 yards for the games first score. The first quarter ended with Webb City leading by Johnson's lone score, 7-0.
The Cardinal offense came out strong in the second quarter adding 3 more scores including another Johnson run from 5 yards as well as two touchdowns runs by Jamison Cady from 9 and 17 yards.
The defense, however, needed no time to adjust and played solid from the first snap. During the early offensive struggles, the Cardinal defense helped out by forcing three-and-outs on the Saints' first 2 possessions and not allowing any points for the entire game. The style of offense that Aquinas runs lends itself to producing big numbers, even in an otherwise poor performance. The Webb City defense was able to prevent that offense from gaining 100 yards. The Saints were only able to compile 33 yards on the ground while their air attack only produced 61 yards for a total of 94 offensive yards. The Cardinals only allowed 7 first downs and was constantly creating pressure in the backfield to make 5 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception (which was immediately ripped from the hands of DB Brent Greek by Clayton Henning.) This Cardinal defense is certainly putting the 2011 Cardinal team in a good position to win games as Coach Roderique commented, “It certainly makes your life a lot easier when you're playing defense like that.”
Webb City went on to win by the final score of 35-0 after Austin Sanders added a third quarter touchdown; and his first ever score as an “American Football” player.
The Cardinals are playing some really good football in all phases of the game right now, which is good since this coming week starts district play; the week when they want to be playing their best football. And if you're a Cardinal you don't want to bring anything less than your best when you take on the Carthage Tigers. Just looking at the numbers the 5-2 Tigers may look a little down this year, but as Coach Smith told us, “Everything's thrown out the window.” He added, “Its Carthage, It's Webb City. It'll be a dogfight. They're a tremendous, well coached team. They'll be ready to play and we're gonna get our kids ready to play. You don't have to motivate too much when it's Carthage/Webb City games.”
That game is set to kickoff at 7:00 Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.
Thursday Oct. 6, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
Webb City traveled to Republic Friday night to take on the COC rival Tigers. The Cardinals came away with 42 points, but it was the defense that was the star of the game as they forced a shutout. This was solidified early in the second half when Republic had the ball on 1st and goal at the Cardinal 2 yard line following a fumble recovery. Defensive Coach Mike Smith encouraged the Cardinal defense to “Push 'em back, push 'em back to Frontenac!” Well, they didn't exactly push them all the way back to the small Kansas town, but they did hold them back enough to force a turnover on downs, and I think that's all that Coach Smith really expected. Webb City showed determination, strength and physicality on the stand as Phoenix Johnson had the hit of the week on 3rd down, leading to a fired up defense stopping the fourth down play led by Klay James and Dalton Humphrey.
But the game didn't start out so well for the Cardinals as their first possession went three-and-out. The plan was to come out passing, but QB Breckin Williams wasn't able to get rid of the ball taking 1st and 2nd down sacks for a total loss of 18 yards. After the 3rd down incompletion down field to intended target Jarvis Jones the Cardinals were forced to punt.
By the end of the first quarter the Cardinals had a 6-0 lead with the only score being on a 92 yard run by Phoenix Johnson after a delayed pitch from Williams.
Other than an interception thrown by Williams on the first play of the second quarter, this period was complete turnaround from the first. The Cardinals scored on two more Johnson runs or 12 and 17 yards as well as a pass from Williams to TE Kohl Slaughter. Slaughter then converted on the 2 point try. “We ran the tight end reverse in honor of coach Thompson”, said Roderique. “He ran that thing to perfection with some of the guys. I remember seeing Grant Wistrom running that play a lot. We ran that play in honor of him and that may be something we keep in our playbook.”
So what was the story with the first quarter? Well, for one thing Coach Roderique gives Republic credit for coming out and playing hard. He commented, “We got punched in the mouth a little bit. They came after us... they had some success running the ball. They're physical.”
But he also thought it had something to do with his own squad as well. “I really think its about preparation,” he said. “I think whether they (the team) want to admit it or not we didn't have a great week of preparation Our practices weren't as good for whatever reason. They gotta realize you can't start like that. You start like that in some other games and you’re gonna be in trouble.”
The Cards went on to finish the game with a 42-0 victory as RBs Jamison Cady and Cooper Smith each added touchdowns in the second half.
With 6th victory of the season in hand, Webb City now looks forward to taking on St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Cardinals come home this Friday after a two weeks on the road to host St. Thomas Aquinas. This is a rematch of one of the best games that Cardinal fans saw last year. Webb City hopes to come away from this game with the same outcome as last year. Webb City went to Overland Park last year to face Aquinas and won the game 34-26. Many feel that the Aquinas game was the turning point for last years team as they began to make huge strides towards their championship run.
What can we expect to see from Aquinas? On offense they mostly run the spread out of the gun. We will most likely see multiple receiver sets with a single back. They pass to set up the run. Webb City linebacker Dalton Humphrey said, “It's as if they play back yard football. The wide outs just get open & they hit them. But once they get defenses on their heels...they run it right down your throat.”
It's been said before that some teams may run the spread because of having inferior athletes. The idea is that they can spread the defense out to create holes and other opportunities. Humphrey assures us this is not the case with Aquinas. “They have athletes, period. They are very fast, very quick & very good at what they do,” he said.
Offensively they are a finesse team, but QB Breckin Williams says “Their defense is almost a complete opposite.” Williams added, “They are incredibly fast and hit hard. They fly to the ball well. They are a very aggressive team.”
Aquinas is used to seeing a lot of pass and is accustomed to stopping it. One might expect to see a run oriented team like Webb City to play that strength and keep it on the ground. However, Williams indicated that this would make them too predictable and stressed the need to remain balanced as they have throughout the season. “We will probably throw just as much as we do normally this week but it will mainly be play action. We have to be able to take deep shots down field and complete them,” said Williams.
This is turning out to be a great match-up that all football fans should be excited about. Game time is set for 7:00 this Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.
Sunday September 25, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
The Cardinals didn't travel to Nixa on Friday night with the intentions of proving a point or to make a statement. They were focused on winning a game. Coach Roderique even reminded them that this game only meant as much as the last one. But there's no doubt that this game captured the attention of both the Webb City and Nixa faithful as well as the eye of the general public.
Both teams came into the game with unblemished records. The Cardinals came into the contest ranked number one in Missouri Class 4 while the Nixa Eagles held a top ten ranking in Class 5. Nixa had size and athletic ability the likes of which Webb City had not seen this year. Nixa would have to contend with the Cardinals' speed and execution.
Webb City drew first blood on their first possession with a 5 play drive that went 76 yards ending with a touchdown pass from Breckin Williams to Pheonix Johnson for a 41 yard catch and run.
It was now Nixa's turn to match. Nixa was moving the ball with efficiency going 32 yards in only 2 plays until Jarvis Jones knocked the ball free while tackling the ball carrier allowing Logan Williams to recover, giving Webb City the ball back. The Cardinals would turn the fumble into points as Johnson would again score; this time a run from 3 yards out.
The first quarter ended with Webb City up 14-0, and that was pretty much the trend for the rest of the game. This was another one of those games that just didn't 'live up to the hype.' Even Coach Roderique said he was “really surprised by the score.” But I think most Cardinal fans were okay with that. It had already been said during the week that this would be a game where we would learn a lot about this team. We learned that this defense can play well against a larger, athletic offensive line while also containing the speed on the edge and keeping receivers covered while putting pressure on the quarterback. Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith commented on the defensive scheme, “Their star running back has tremendous speed, so we knew going in we had to keep him contained We knew if he got out on the edge that might give us some problems.”
But the speed was just one problem as Coach Smith continued, “They've got an excellent power running game as well. Their size and our movement; that was going to be the test all night long. We tried to move all night long so they couldn't get a clean shot on our d-line and that freed up our linebackers to make plays. It's just team defense, that's what it's all about.”
Cardinal defensive back Klay James added, “Our defense, from day one we knew we were going to be good. There just hasn't been a moment when we let up and I really think our defense changes the game.”
The offense was also able to pass the test as they got the job done on the ground as well as through the air. The Cardinals scored 41 points and racked up a season high 442 yards. Pheonix Johnson carried the ball 15 times for 172 yards; Williams was 9 of 14 passing for 177 yards which included 4 completions to Jarvis Jones for 90 yards. Four Cardinals were credited with receptions Friday night which pleases Coach Roderique, “I think having the ability to move it around a little bit more makes your offense a little tougher to defend.”
It's hard enough to defend when you have Williams, Cady and Johnson coming out of the backfield. Adding Jones, Slaughter, Vaden, James and Pheonix out on passing routes as well and it's going to be a long day for any opposing defense this year. Jarvis Jones alone has already amassed 421 yards on the season and is on pace to set a new receiving record for Webb City. (The current record was set by Austin Daniel last season as he was the first Cardinal to catch for 1000 yards in a season.)
Roderique concluded his postgame statements commenting on the team's progress, “We feel good about them... It's a long season. Right now we see where we're at after week 5. We're gonna keep pushing them and try to get better. You gotta continue to get better.”
Sunday Sept. 18, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
The undefeated Cardinals returned to their home stadium Friday night to welcome the winless Neosho Tigers to Cardinal Stadium. There were more empty seats in the stands than usual, possibly due to the looming threat of rain and the almost certainty of a lopsided competition.
The rain held off for the evening, with the exception of a few sprinkles, but the Cards started rolling quickly starting with a 28 yard touchdown run by Pheonix Johnson on the games opening drive. Johnson showed strength, speed, will, determination and instinctive ability on the run. Coach Roderique claims the run should be shown on ESPN's top ten plays of the night and called the young running back “a human highlight reel.” Pheonix made some more highlights later in the first quarter when he returned a punt to set the Cards up at the Neosho 6 yard line where he then punched it in for the score on the next play. Jamison Cady also scored a first quarter touchdown to put the Cardinals up 20-0 as the quarter ended. One of Alex Easely's extra point attempts was blocked.
The offense was really on a roll. Even Coach Roderique was quite pleased, which is a deviation from how he has felt about his offense so far this season. “I thought we had little more consistency up front. The guys did a really good job controlling the line of scrimmage,” said Roderique. “When you're playing against kids that big and physical that's always a question. I thought our guys did a real great job up front, and we can try to mix things up on run and pass; that was also encouraging.”
Webb City didn't score any more in the second half as they let some other kids gain experience while the mercy clock ticked away very quickly. But they did put some more points on the board before the half with an 18 yard pass from John Roderique to Kohl Slaughter, a 35 yard field goal by Easely, and a 50 yard catch and run by Jarvis Jones on a pass from Breckin Williams as time expired in the first half to put the Cards up 37-0 as they went into the locker room.
The second half went by very quickly with the mercy clock running allowing for only two possessions by each team. Neosho scored with 4:55 left in the fourth, but Webb city was able to run out the clock on the next possession to end the game.
Webb City's defense was stellar again as they held Neosho to 151 total offensive yards, with most of those coming in the second half, and taking the ball away 3 times on two fumble recoveries and a Klay James interception. Webb City also turned the ball over twice. Penalties and turnovers have plagued the Cardinals so far this season, but Friday night they only drew 2 flags for 10 yards. Coach Roderique commented on the improvement, “I really felt good about our penalties. I felt like we kept those under control tonight.” Concerning the fumbles he added, “Just gotta do a better job of taking care of the ball.”
This was definitely the most upbeat and pleased that Coach Roderique has been with the offensive play so far on the season. He believes they are improving each week. He said they were a “little more crisp; a little sharper” and “our timing looks like it's improving.”
Neosho's Coach Schoonover was also impressed with his team's attitude as they battled the Cardinals. “I was pleased with the heart our kids showed tonight as far as not hanging there heads,” he said. “Obviously, it's gonna be a process, and we know that.” Schoonover continued, “Tonight we had four sophomores playing on the offensive line and a sophomore starting at quarterback, and twith that scenario it's gonna be a process.”
The Cardinals went on to win the game by a final score of 37-7 to remain unbeaten on the season as well as in conference play. Next up is Nixa as the Cardinals go back on the road to face the Eagles Friday night. It's still early, but the conference title could very well come down to this. With Ozark losing to Webb City in week 1 and Carthage falling to Nixa last week, this matchup features the only two undefeated COC Large teams. Nixa brings in a big, athletic line with a bruising running back. Nixa is also ranked in the top ten in Missouri's class 5 state rankings. No question, this will be a measuring stick to see how Webb City compares to some of the best in the state. We look forward to hearing more about what Coach Roderique thinks about this year's Nixa team in this weeks podcast.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 this Friday night in Nixa.
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
In a city with more live shows than Las Vegas, thousands flocked to the 'House that Hancock built' to watch the Webb City Cardinals duel with the hometown Branson Pirates. It was a terrific night for High School football with a clear sky and temperatures in the 70s. With a football field carved out of the Ozark Mountains, the venue was beautiful, but the performance was ugly.
"I'm a little bit hard to please," said Coach Roderique after the game. "For 3 weeks now we've just spittered and spattered. I think we had a good couple drives that first half and then we'd fumble the ball, miss reads..."
Let's not forget, though, that the Cardinals did come away with a 50-16 victory making for a 3-0 record on the season.
The Cardinals' offense started solid as they took their first drive of the ball game 53 yards in 9 plays and ended it with a 4 yard touchdown run by Pheonix Johnson. The second Cardinal drive went 50 yards in only 2 plays, including a 35 yard pass from Breckin Williams to sophomore tight-end Cooper Strasser, and capped by another touchdown run by Johnson, this time from 15 yards out.
Webb City was up 14-0, but this was when their troubles started. The Webb defense was holding solid, forcing the Pirates to a punt after a 3 and out, but the ball was fumbled on the return and Branson recovered in Webb City territory. The Cardinals defense again forced the Pirates to punt.
Branson's defense then forced Webb to punt, but the snap sailed over Austin Sanders' head and out the back of the endzone for a safety putting the Pirates on the board for the first time.
The Pirates were unable to capitalize on the short field given to them after the free kick following the safety, but they were given another gift when a pitch attempt by Williams was fumbled and recovered by Branson on the Webb City 29 yard line. Two plays later the Cardinals got the ball back on a fumble recovery and capitalized big. Webb City's Austin White scooped up the football and ran 74 yards for the score.
Special teams came up big on the ensuing kickoff when the Pirates failed to pick up the live ball and the Cardinals recovered on the Branson 11. Jamison Cady then took the ball in for the score on the very next play. The Cardinals scored 14 points in only 4 seconds. The momentem had clearly shifted back to Webb City now as they continued their dominating performance for the rest of the game. The Cardinals' offense would later score again on a Pheonix Johnson 25 yard run and a 65 yard pass from Williams to Jarvis Jones.
While the Cardinals' offense did do some good things, many of their 50 points came from capitalizing on Branson's mistakes and big plays from the defense and special teams.
“I'm really, really pleased. Our coaches from day one have really stressed trying to get turnovers and tackle people
and so far they've really done a good job like that,” Coach said regarding the defense. He continued on the special teams play, “Richie Adkins, who coordinates our special teams, has done a great
job with our guys in the kicking game. That was really huge in this game, as far as all the points given to us in the kicking game.
Offensively, it's hard to get some continuity the way we're playing right now, but I guess the good thing is we're scoring in other ways...”
These big plays included the kickoff recovered by the Cardinals' coverage team, the fumble return by Austin White, the botched PAT snap turned into a 2 point conversion pass, and the highlight of the game, an 85 yard kick return for a touchdown by Pheonix Johnson to open the second half.
It seems Johnson may be able return kickoffs for touchdowns on command, as he explains, “They were just yelling at me, 'Take this one back, ' and I was like, 'Alright.' I had one guy to beat and I just took a little stutter step and took off around him.”
Coach Roderique looks to improve the teams offense as he feels they lack continuity due to inexperience in playing together during real game situations.
“That's the bottom line,” says Roderique, “Missed assingnments, missed reads... You know, a quarterback misses the read on one play and he ends up pulling the ball... He should have handed the ball off, then he tries to pitch it, then its fumbled... from one little mistake kinda turns into a disaster sometimes... We just got to continue to preach the fundamentals and try to get better.”
But Roderique wasn't completely disappointed. He said there were also many bright spots. “The kicking game has just been outstanding. We're playing really good team defensive football... you don't see just a bunch of super stars out there.. you see a different guy just making plays all the time, and we're playing a lot different kids on the different side of the ball.”
One particular kids that keeps making plays on defense is junior defensive back Austin White. He has accounted for 3 takeaways in 3 games. Roderique commented on White, “He's a young man that just has a knack. He has good coordination and just get himself in the right position.”
It may sound absurd that Roderique has been disappointed with this team's performance so far, but that's only because he believes in them and he knows what they are capable of accomplishing. That is a very good sign that this 2011 Cardinal team could be something very special and we have the privilege of watching them grow and mature into a team that can do great things.
After a 2 week road stint Webb City returns to Cardinal Stadium this Friday night to face the Neosho Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 7:00.
Sunday Sept. 4, 2011
www.webbcityfootball.com Staff Writer
“Defense was the highlight.” These were Coach Roderique's words following Webb City's 41-0 victory over Willard on Friday night. Although Willard had the size advantage, Webb City was able to show that they are capable of playing with the big boys. Webb City put together a total of 341 yards on offense while holding Willard to 69.
Regarding the Cardinals' defensive effort Coach Roderique was quick to give credit to Defensive Coordinator, Mike Smith. “He does as good a job as anybody in the business.
Our kids have got a lot of fire. We kinda pride ourselves on trying to be physical.”
Webb's offense was also able to make quite a bit of noise with the most memorable play being a 50 yard catch and run by Senior receiver Jarvis Jones. This play showed, not only the athletic ability of the QB and receiver, but also showed their ability to improvise under pressure to make a play happen. Jones' route was, by design, a simple comeback route. But when Willard's defender bit on the comeback, Williams and Jones knew they had a big opportunity, and they took advantage of it.
“I'd like to tell you that we called it like it was ran,” said Roderique. “That was just communication between those two. We were trying to run a comeback they jumped, it play it great, then he (Jones) just tried to release on vertical and Breckin made a great throw and Jarvis me a great catch. Certainly that gave us a little bit of momentum, I think, from that point.”
This was just one of 21 pass attempts for the Cardinals on Friday night. From early on in the game Webb City came out in several multiple receiver sets in a attempt to get their passing game going. Though this is not typical of traditional Webb City football, it may be something we could see more of as the season continues.
“We wanted to utilize our spread. You gotta have a chance to run that stuff. We put Jarvis Jones, Kohl Slaughter, Phoenix Johnson out there on one side and then we got Jameson Cady in the backfield; those are some pretty good athletes, and that's what we're trying to use, get those guys in space a little bit and utilize Breckin's throwing ability.”
In all the Cardinals were 13 of 21 for 181 yards through the air. The passing game also accounted for 3 of the Cardinals touchdowns with another Williams to Jones connection, as well as a Roderique to Slaughter hook up in the closing minutes of the third quarter.
Pheonix Johnson ran in the first touchdown for the Cardinals on his 14 yard outside run on Webb's first drive. Webb City then attempted a two point conversion which failed giving Webb City an early 6-0 lead. The second quarter also saw another pair of scores including Breckin Williams two yard run and a 14 yard score by Jamison Cady.
Despite the loss, Willard's Coach Roweton was pleased with his squad's performance against Webb City. He commented, “Webb City continues to execute really well and I thought that our kids played
hard and put up a good fight, but ultimately Webb City's execution is gonna getcha, and it got us tonight.”
Roweton continued, “I'm really proud of our guys. We haven't played Webb City and not given up easy stuff in 2 years and everything they got tonight was difficult. They got it, and they did a great job and executed really well. But it was not easy, and our kids kept battling.”
Although Coach Roderique was pleased with the Defense, and despite scoring 41 points, he was not satisfied with the effort of the offense. He told the team after the game that they still have a lot of work to do. He blamed much of the trouble on youth and inexperience.
“We had just had way, way too many penalties,” said Roderique. The Cardinal's came away from the game with 11 penatlties for a total of 90 yards. Compare that to Willard's 2 penalties for 30 yards. “The kids seemed like they were a little distracted,” continued Roderique.
The win does, however, improve the Cardinals to 2-0 on the season as well as in Conference play. Webb City continues conference play next week as they travel to Branson to take on the Pirates.
Saturday August 27, 2011
webbcityfootball.com Staff writer
The final score between Webb City and Ozark was 38-14 in the Cardinal's favor on opening day of the 2011 High School football season, but don't let the score fool you into thinking that the Cards had this one from the opening kickoff.
“Everybody was playing like we were holding our breath the whole time. We didn't have very many guys who weren't nervous, including the Head Coach,” said Coach Roderique after Friday night's victory.
This was evident by the first half drives. While the Defense was holding Ozark from making any progress the Offense was having a hard time getting anything going as it turned it over on downs twice in the first quarter.
“There's always the... 'what are they (the opposing team) going to do; how are they going to be.' But we were probably more concerned with how we were going to do,” Roderique commented. He continued, “ just so many guys who haven't been through it yet.”
The second quarter started to look as if the pressure was starting to get to the defense as the Tigers began to put together an impressive drive. But that success was put to an abrupt end when the junior defensive back Logan Williams put his helmet on the football separating it from the Ozark runner. This ignited a spark resulting in Pheonix Johnson's 6 yard score with 2:52 remaining in the half. With little time remaining Ozark answered quickly with a score of their own by putting the ball in the air. Webb City's two minute drill ended in an interception making the halftime score tied at 7.
But the early struggles were not blamed entirely on the nerves and jitters of the young players. Coach Roderique also credits Ozark and their new coach Mark Bliss for fielding a competitive team. He added, “Coach Bliss has got them going. Those kids are confident and play hard. They've got some good looking athletes on the field.”
The second half was a different story. Senior lineman Carson Powell said that coach Roderique helped get them fired up at half time. “He told us to keep at it! He just got us excited,” said Powell.
Their excitement showed as Pheonix Johnson took the second half kickoff to the Tiger 39 yard line. The drive was capped by a 9 yard touchdown run by QB Breckin Williams. Webb City would go on to score 24 more points in the half to put the game out of reach.
Roderique said of the teams second half success, “We just made a couple of scheme adjustments. I think getting off to a good start was probably the key. We had a big kick return. Our field position was good. Of course, that kinda gets you going. Then you score; it felt like it kinda energized our guys a little bit.” He added, “It just came down to better execution in the second half by everybody. We just executed a little bit better.”
In spite of the slow start and early mistakes, Coach Roderique was very upbeat following the game. Regarding the turnovers and penalties Roderique commented, “I'm not very upset at all right now. I'm sure when we put that film on we'll have to do some things, but we're still a pretty youthful team as far as playing time and experience on the field.”
Coach Roderique was also very please with the resiliency of the players. He said, “It says a lot about your kids, how tough they are mentally and physically.”
Carson Powell added, “It's been a long break. You kinda forget what it takes. That first half we had to shake off some cobwebs, then we got a lot better after that.”
Junior linebacker Dalton Humphrey was quick to praise the coaching staff saying, “The coaches are always preparing us better than any other coaching staff in the state.” He concluded, “We have the best coaching staff in the state.”
It's certainly hard to argue with Dalton when you consider that the win Friday night was also a record setting win. Webb City now holds the record for most consecutive regular season wins in the history of Missouri high school football with 72 straight going back to the 2003 season. Understandably, Coach Roderique has been hesitant to discuss the streak as he is more concerned with preparing his team for the next game. But now that it's out of the way, he seems a little more open about it. While the focus is still on the next game and this team, one can't help but be impressed by the continued success of the Webb City football program. Roderique commented after the win Friday night, “Honestly, it's pretty special. There's no questions about that. There's been a lot of great players to come through here since then, a lot of great teams.”
The Cardinals travel to Willard Friday night for another COC contest. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00.
Saturday August 27, 2011
webbcityfootball.com Staff Writer
Expectations are always high for the Webb City football team. Coming off of the 2010 State Championship season, this year is no different. There's no question that the Cardinals graduated some serious talent, even players that were considered irreplaceable. However, it has been said before that Webb City doesn't rebuild; they 'reload.' Is it fair to compare this year's team to last year's championship team? Probably not, but it's what we do as Cardinal football fans.
Until now all the talk and speculation about how this year's team would perform has been just that; talk and speculation. We may be able to start to figure some things out about this young team after their impressive 38-14 win over Ozark.
What did we learn from the Ozark game? Everyone is excited about the young “gun slinger” at quarterback, Senior Breckin Williams. Webb City football has rarely been known for it's big arm in the passing game, but this young man has generated much excitement with his ability to throw the football. However, the concern lingered as to if anyone could step up to be a viable target for him. A couple big targets stepped up Friday night as Senior Receiver Jarvis Jones and Junior tight-end Kohl Slaughter were able to make some big grabs. Slaughter looked particularly impressive with his physical play after the catch. I look for Jones to have some big plays this year with his speed and ability to make the tough catch, while Slaughter will be incredible as a possession receiver. It would also make sense that Slaughter can be a monster of a weapon in the red zone. The two interceptions thrown by Williams
Defensively, this unit looks tight and well disciplined. In typical Cardinal Defense fasion very few tackles were made by a lone defender. Very rarely was a Webb City defender caught out of position. Although they were able to get into Ozark's backfield and cause trouble on many occasions there seemed to be some lacking in the ability to finish the play. It was too often that the Ozark rushers were able to shed the would-be tacklers in the backfield and turn the play into a positive gain. But the Defense was able to force turnovers including 4 Interceptions and a fumble recovery.
After losing Chase Capron many wondered how the Cards would handle the kicking game. It would seem that Easley's leg has grown in the offseason. He was able to put one and a half kickoffs into the endzone.
What about the Offensive line? Did Webb lose too much talent effective in the run game? Well, considering the Cardinals were able to rack up 277 yards on the ground against a pretty good Ozark defense, it may be safe to say that the big men up front did their job. As for rushing, Pheonix Johnson led the pack with 11 carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns. That's a 12.3 average.
The two halves of the game were almost like watching two different ball games. The Cardinals were having trouble getting anything going on offense. A fumble recovery midway through the second quarter created a spark for the Cardinals. Seven plays later, Breckin Williams found Jarvis Jones deep down the middle for a gain to the Tiger 6 yard line setting up a Johnson score on the next run for the first score of the game. The game scoring went as follows:
2:52 WC Pheonix Johnson 6 yrd run (Easley kick good) 7-0
1:42 Ozark #7 to #5 35 yard pass (kick good) 7-7
8:59 WC Breckin Williams 9 yrd run (Easley kick good) 14-7
7:21 WC Breckin Williams 20 yrd run (Easley kick good) 21-7
Ozark #7 to #5 60 yrd pass (kick good) 21-14
11:10 WC Pheonix Johnson 69 yrd run (Easley kick good) 28-14
7:27 WC Easley 25 yrs Field Goal 31-14
7:16 WC Jamison Cady 18 yrd run (Easley kick good) 38-14
Congratulations to the 2011 Cardinals on their win to star the season. Next week the Cardinals travel to take on Willard.