Webb’s wish list is to keep winning and beat the Bucs

By Steve Williams

At the top of the Webb football team’s wish list has to be a rematch with Boyd Buchanan.

Webb lost at BB 14-10 in their first meeting when the two teams squared off with 8-0 records in Week 10.

If the rematch were to happen, it would have to be in the Division II-AA championship game in Chattanooga on Nov. 30, because the Spartans and Buccaneers are on the opposite side of the bracket.

Both teams crossed the first hurdle Friday night, as Webb turned back Evangelical Christian School 34-7 at David Meske Stadium and Boyd Buchanan beat Goodpasture 49-20 on its home field in the opening round of the TSSAA playoffs.

Each team is now two wins away from getting an opportunity to hoist the gold football at Finley Stadium. But the hurdles get higher and higher.

“For all of us (in the playoffs), it’s just the excitement of we move on and we fill out the bracket and it’s like March Madness,” said Webb Coach Don Mahoney.

“Webb, to their credit, made a lot of plays in critical moments,” said ECS Coach Blake Butler. “That kind of helped bust the game open.

“I felt like our kids came out and fought hard. Unfortunately, we just made some mistakes that cost us. That’s how football goes. Webb is a well-coached team and they play hard and sound. My hat is off to them. It’s a tough moment. There’s only one team happy at the end of the year.”

ECS finished 4-7, but Mahoney said they played more like a 9-1 or 8-2 team.

It took most of the first quarter before Webb scored to take a 6-0 lead. After an interception by linebacker Cooper Cameron at midfield, the Spartans scored from the 2 when wide receiver Markeis Barrett showed off his great hands in the back of the end zone to pull in the TD pass from Jack Wagner.

Webb’s second score took only three plays as Gregory Tate III hauled in a 74-yard pass from Wagner. A two-point pass to Barrett made it 14-0.

A diving interception by DB Harvey Niendorff got the ball back at the Spartans’ 19, but the two teams traded punts the remainder of the quarter.

A 60-yard TD catch by RB Jalen Hill was nullified by an illegal block as the second half started. The Eagles from West Tennessee showed some life when Kade Butler hit Max Stegall on a 74-yard catch-and-run and Olin Giles’ PAT kick made it a 14-7 game.

The Spartans answered with a 10-play, 64-yard drive and Hill scored on a 5-yard run around the left side. The PAT kick by Clay Fultz upped the advantage to 21-7.

ECS returned the kickoff to the 46, but Tate got Webb’s third interception.

A 26-yard Wagner pass to Cameron and a 15-yard run by the QB led to a 22-yard TD aerial to Barrett, who seemed to find a magical path into the ECS end zone. The PAT by Fultz made it 28-7 with 1:53 on the third quarter clock.

Another interception by Tate stopped the Eagles at the Webb 11.

Baxter Johnson’s 35-yard catch highlighted another Spartan scoring drive as Wagner connected with Barrett for a 24-yard TD at 8:30 in the fourth.

There would be no more scoring, but a fifth INT for the secondary and Niendorff’s second of the night.

“The key to the win was the second half and how we were having the ability to run the football,” said Coach Mahoney. “Our defense, I can’t say enough about five interceptions.”

Hill, a tough 5-9, 180-pounder, led Webb’s ground game with 143 yards on 18 carries. Barrett totaled 87 yards with his eight receptions. Wagner passed for 225 yards, completing 14 of 23.

There was a lot of yellow on the field as ECS was penalized for 137 yards and Webb 120.

Webb (10-1) will play at Franklin Road Academy (10-1) Friday.

Boyd Buchanan (11-0) will host Northpoint Christian (8-3) in the second round.

Webb fans’ wish list probably includes pulling for the Buccaneers for two more weeks, but not a day more.