WEBB CITY — The final score of 42-14 for the Webb City Cardinals over the Lebanon Yellowjackets might give one the impression that Friday’s game between the two teams wasn’t close. Still, the Yellowjackets showed heart and effort for all 48 minutes in the Quarterfinal round.
“I am so proud of every single member of our program,” head coach Will Christian told his team after the game. “To the senior class, I love you guys, and you made everyone proud (on Friday).”
Lebanon ran 43 more total plays than the Cardinals (82 total plays to 39), but the Cardinals forced six turnovers to advance to the State semifinals next week against Platte County.
Senior Drew McBride was the player of the game for LHS with 107 rushing yards on 29 attempts. After a 1-2 record to start the year, Lebanon faced adversity numerous times throughout 2020 and captured a third-place finish in the Ozark Conference and a Class 5 District 5 championship.
Below is a timeline of major events that happened in Friday’s game:
Lebanon fumbles on the game's first drive: The Yellowjackets received the opening kickoff and marched down the field, taking more than eight minutes off the game clock in the first quarter. However, on a 2nd and seven from the Webb City 8 yard line, McBride rushed for seven yards but fumbled the football trying to reach for the end zone that resulted in a touchback for the Cardinals as they recovered to take over from the LHS 20.
Webb City forces second turnover: Lebanon’s defense forced a three-and-out on the Cardinals’ offense after a fumbled exchange on 3rd, and two resulted in a seven-yard loss. On the first play from scrimmage on their second drive, senior Antonio Rogers received a hard hit and fumbled the ball to give WCHS the ball on the LHS 45 yard line. Kansas State commit Devrin Weathers scored from 31-yards out to put them up 7-0 with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
Fake punt works for LHS: After giving up a second score to Weathers to go down 14-0, the LHS offense faced a 4th and 15 from their 42-yard line. Junior punter Collin Wilson acted as the snap went over his head, but in reality, sophomore Cade Muscia threw the ball to an open receiver before he was interfered with to draw a pass interference and an automatic first down. Just a few plays later, McBride plowed into the end zone on a 4th and goal from the two to put Lebanon on the board. A two-point pass from Peyton Mitchell to Cordell Zebel cut the lead to 14-8 with just 1:09 remaining in the first half.
Drama to end the first half: On the ensuing kickoff after the McBride touchdown, Lebanon recovered a muffed kick from the Cardinals to take over on the Cardinals’ 36-yard line. On a 3rd and 1, Mitchell threw an interception to All-State defensive back Treaghan Parker picked him off, and returned it to the Lebanon 46 after a touchdown-saving tackle by Mitchell. On the final play of the half with just five seconds remaining, Webb City quarterback Cole Gayman was stripped sack by junior defensive lineman Zack Rose and senior Garrett Childers recovered the fumble and was tackled at the two-yard line right before Childers could score to go into the halftime down 14-8.
Cardinals dominate the third quarter: In the third quarter, the Cardinals outscored the ‘Jackets by a score of 21-0 after Dupree Jackson broke a 38-yard run on the quarter's sixth play. Lebanon fumbled on their third play in the half, and Weathers bounced into the end zone on 4th and goal to extend their lead to 28-8. Mitchell threw his second interception of the game that resulted in a pick-six for Webb City to take a 35-8 lead heading into the final quarter.
Lebanon shows fight through the final whistle: With their backs against the wall, the Yellowjackets showed a tremendous amount of heart as sophomore Nathan Bartell rushed for a five-yard score to go down 42-21 with 7:28 left in the contest. The Yellowjackets forced a punt from the Cardinals before rushing for three more first downs to run the clock out to end the 2020 season.