Seniors help Webb roll to 42-9 over GCA

By David Klein

At senior night at Webb School, the Webb Spartans used a dominating performance by their seniors, a crisp offense and a swarming defense to roll over divisional opponent the Grace Christian Academy (GCA) Rams 42-9. Webb is now 8-0 on the season in Division II-AA East and heads into the bye week with an engine of steam and momentum.

“There was so much going into this evening with a special group of seniors,” Webb coach Don Mahoney said. “On a senior night, we can’t say enough about them and how thankful we are for them, their careers, what they have accomplished. That, I think, was the big reason for us to start fast with the intentions of what we wanted to do with it. Credit to our guys being well prepared from our coaching staff and just the approach that they took with a lot of things this week, activities on campus, with here at Webb, the Senior Night. The guys stayed really focused and I can’t say enough about them.”

Webb put two quick touchdowns on the board with a 4-yard touchdown run by Jalen Hill and a 29-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Jack Wagner to Gregory Tate III. Tate’s touchdown put the Spartans up 14-0 with 7:13 left in the first quarter.

The Spartans then took advantage of three consecutive turnovers on three consecutive offensive plays by GCA quarterback Weston Edmonson to open up the game and take a 28-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Barrett and Hill each scored their second touchdowns of the game, a 10-yard touchdown reception by Barrett and a 6-yard touchdown run by Hill.

Senior defensive back Markeis Barrett had two interceptions in that GCA turnover span. Barrett said, “They (defensive line) makes it easy for us to get picks because they put pressure on the quarterback and a lot of times, he makes a bad read or the read they think is there, by the time he throws it, we’re right there to get it because we’ve seen the play develop.”

Hill ran for this third touchdown of the game, a 20-yard touchdown, with 9:54 left in the second quarter to make it 35-0 Webb.

GCA finally got a first down with nine minutes left in the second quarter. It would lead to a field goal with 3:07 left in the second quarter, which made the score 35-3.

Webb went right back down the field as Hill sprinted for a 57-yard touchdown, his fourth touchdown of the game to put Webb up 42-3 with 1:16 left in the second quarter. Hill finished the game with 14 rushes for 164 yards and four touchdowns.

“The key was definitely my blockers, my linemen,” Hill said. “Beautiful holes, beautiful gaps.  It was really a very important week, especially for our seniors. To us, it was a really big game.”

The mercy rule took effect in the second half with a continuous running clock, and the Spartans had their reserves in the game. Grace Christian scored a touchdown with 6:40 left in the game on Steven Riffey’s 6-yard run. That made the final score 42-9 Webb.

Both teams are off this week for Fall Break. Webb plays a huge Division II-AA East game at undefeated Boyd-Buchanan on October 20 that will essentially determine the regular season Region Title. Boyd-Buchanan is coached by Gary Rankin, former coach at Alcoa, where he won 13 state championships in 16 seasons. Rankin is the winningest high school football coach in Tennessee history.  Grace Christian, 3-5, (1-4 Division II-AA East) plays at Silverdale Academy on October 20.