Tight end Drew Vonder Haar follows up being crowned homecoming queen by catching a pass and running it in for 65-yard touchdown. – LaFonda Crouch photos

Tucker Liberatore lunges over Ozark’s offensive line to try to block a field goal attempt. – LaFonda Crouch photo

Cardinals use passing and stiff defense to win homecoming game 38-0 over Ozark

Homecoming in Webb City Friday was as it should be as the Cardinals dominated the Ozark Tigers 38-0.

The homecoming king, tight end Drew Vonder Haar, even scored a 65-yard touchdown pass.

The Cardinal defense held the Tigers (1-4) to 78 total yards on offense. While Webb City’s offense racked up 507 total yards.

“It was nice to get the win on homecoming for our team, seniors and community,” says coach Ryan McFarland. “I was proud of how our team was able to enjoy the homecoming festivities and also stay focused on the preparations for the homecoming football game.”

With key offensive backs (Breckin Galardo, Omari Jackson, Gabe Johnson and Andrew Ellwell) on the sidelines because of injuries, there were opportunities for their teammates to step up. McFarland points out nine players carried the ball and eight caught passes.

“We came into the game wanting to be able to pass the ball with greater consistency,” says McFarland. “I felt we were able to do that. We ended the game completing 13 of 20 passes for 210 yards with three touchdown passes. We hope the ability to have success throwing the ball will pay off down the road.”

None of the injured backs are expected to be on the field this week so look for a continued ground attack by a committee of running backs to establish depth.

Junior Jackson Lucas, filling in for Johnson, had a good night (5 of 6 attempts for 119 yards and two TDs). McFarland says he has “earned the right to continue getting snaps on Friday nights,” along with senior Braden McKee.

Andrew Young puts the Cardinals in good position with an interception return.

Cardinals celebrate Andrew Elwell’s touchdown.

“Our defense had another dominating performance, holding Ozark to 11 rushing yards on 19 carries and 55 passing yards on 11 completions,” says McFarland. “I can’t say enough good things about the job our defensive coaches have done. Those coaches are:

  • Aaron Davied
  • Trey Derryberry
  • Gavin Clouse
  • Joseph Decker
  • Tanner Hails
  • Jose Speer

“Our defense as a whole is fun to watch, and I am glad that we don’t have to play them in a game.”

At the halfway point of the regular season, “McFarland says, “Our coaching staff is proud of the commitment that our players have put into our team.  We are excited to see what all they can accomplish during the second half of the season and into the post-season.”

Webb City (4-1) is at the top of Class 5 District 7 with 49.5 points. Raytown South is second (39.5), Belton is third (34.8), and Carthage is fourth (30.7).

Noah Durman

Touchdown Jonah Spieker.

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