Webster improved to 3-3 on the season and more importantly gained a crucial district victory with the 29-6 triumph.
"This was a huge win. We're undefeated in district play and also keeps us away from that dreaded number 1 seed come playoff time," WCHS head coach Matt Kettler stated. "Now we just need to find a way to come up with another district win or two some we can host a playoff game and make some noise in post-season. I feel like we're making some strides and I think the kids are gaining confidence each week."
The Trojans earned the victory over the winless Cougars Friday playing without three key starters, James Nance, Jeremy Kelsey and Clay Putman.
"That hurts, not having those guys on the field. But other kids stepped up and made some plays and I think the experience some of the younger kids gain will be very valuable to us the remainder of the season," Kettler continued.
Webster looked very strong on its first possession of the game, traveling 62 yards on 12 plays to the McLean 19 yard line. But the drive went backwards from that point, courtesy of a pair of penalties. Faced with a 4th-and-20, Kettler opted for a field goal attempt. WC junior kicker Kyle Welshans made the decision pay off as he calmly drilled a 32-yard field goal to give Webster a 3-0 lead with 6:20 left in the opening quarter.
The Trojans extended the lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter on a picture-perfect pass play from Landon Harting to senior receiver Zach Martin. Facing a 2nd-and-11 deep in their own territory, Harting placed a perfect strike right into the hands of the speedy Martin, who had slipped behind two Cougars defenders. Martin never broke stride and his snared the ball and raced untouched 76 yards for the touchdown. Welshsans added the extra point to give the Trojans a 10-point lead with 8:42 left in the first half.
"That certainly was a big play for us. The 10-point lead gave us a little breathing room. We knew they (McLean) weren't going to quit here on their home field," noted Kettler.
Another strong defensive stand by WCHS stopped the Cougars near midfield. Martin then took the punt and raced 35 yards to the McLean 35-yard line. That sparked the Webster offense to its second touchdown of the night.
Thanks to several powerful runs from senior fullback Jamey Kennada and a pass interference call against the Cougars on a sure touchdown pass to Laken Benson, the Trojans earned a first down at the MCHS 15. Kennada capped off the drive with a 15-yard TD run. The PAT was blocked by the Trojans owned a 16-0 lead with 3:00 remaining in the half.
"The touchdown was crucial. We stopped them defensively and then take it right in a score right before halftime. I think it was kind-of a back-breaker for them (Cougars)", said Kettler.
Webster dominated first-half play with 198 total yards compared to McLean's 81. The Trojans set the tone for the remainder of the game in the first possession of the second half as they held the Cougars on just three plays, forcing a quick punt.
It took only six plays for Webster County to light-up the scoreboard again. Michael Whitacker and Kennada were virtually unstoppable as they sliced through the Cougar defense. Kennada powered his way to his second touchdown of the game, this one from four yards out. Welshans' extra point attempt clipped the goal post and bounced away but the Trojans held a commanding 22-0 lead.
Kennada led the Webster offense with a career-night, rushing for a personal best 182 yards on 28 carries.
"He's led us all year and when we really needed him tonight, with those guys out of the lineup, Jamey really stepped up and showed what he's made of. It was a very inspiring performance," Kettler said of his senior.
McLean scored it's only points of the game on the first play of the fourth quarter, a 15- yard touchdown pass from quarterback David Burden to Jordan Ward.
The Trojans added an insurance touchdown with just 28 seconds remaining as senior lineman Jordan Sutton got the call at the goal line and he responded with a 1-yard bull- run to the end zone. Welshans PAT set the final score.
Webster had 15 first downs and combined for 308 total yards. McLean managed just 168 yards, 108 of those coming from Burden on 23 carries.
The Trojans will face a stiff test this Friday, hosting defending Class 3-A state champion Paducah Tilghman. Annual WCHS Homecoming activities will be held prior to the contest.
Posted by Karen Orange - iSurf News
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