Gabe Johnson’s first 1-play touchdown.

Gabe Johnson’s second 1-play touchdown.

Omari Jackson on his 1-play touchdown.

Drew Vonder Haar catches a Braden McKee pass for a 78-yard, 1-play touchdown.

Omari Jackson’s second touchdown.

Jonah Spieker catches a 56-yard, 1-play touchdown.

Webb City deploys 1-play drives to advance in districts to face Carthage in final

The Cardinals are storming into the district final Friday after a lopsided win here last week against Belton. But this week they’re up against the Carthage Tigers, who beat the Cardinals in the regular season 20-13.

There was a similar scenario in 2021 when Carthage defeated Webb City 42-14 in the regular season, Webb City won the district battle 28-21 and went on to win the state championship.

In 2020 because of Covid, the teams didn’t meet in the regular season, and Webb City, seeded second, won the district championship 42-21.

Last year, after Webb City received a first-seed bye, the Cardinals lost to Republic. Carthage won the district and kept on going to the Show-Me Bowl, finishing runnerup to Francis Howell.

The Cardinals are 8-2 and have home-field advantage. Carthage, 7-4 and seeded third, went to Raytown South last week for a 56-28 upset.

Game plan obviously didn’t include sustained drives as Cards score continuously in 71-20 victory over Belton

“Have you ever seen anything like it?” was a common question among home fans last week as the Cardinals ran away from Belton in the Class 6 District 7 semifinal. It wasn’t the points that kept piling up that amazed – it was the way they were scored, on one-play touchdown drives.

The Cardinals opened the game with not just one – but four one-play touchdown drives – on their first four possessions.

Quarterback Gabe Johnson scored the first one from 80 yards out. Then he ran again, this time for 53 yards, to make it 14-0.

Omari Jackson, in his first game back from a long injury rehab, scored a 35-yard touchdown (21-0).

Then the defense got on the board with a 2-point safety (23-0).

On the Cardinals’ fourth possession, quarterback Braden McKee threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Drew Vonder Haar.

That was all in the first quarter that ended 29-0.

The Cardinals used five plays for their next touchdown. Jackson finished it on a fourth-down 21-yard carry.

Belton scored on a kickoff return to make the score 37-7.

The Cardinals reverted to a one-play drive when Jonah Spieker caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Johnson.

Brody Eggleston ended Belton’s next drive by returning an interception to within 8 yards of a touchdown. Andrew Elwell finished the one-play drive with the 8-yard carry.

Andrew Young’s pick-6 interception put the Cardinals up 56-7.

Ryan Reid thwarted Belton’s drive toward the end zone with an interception at the 2-yard line.

Webb City’s answer to that bad field possession was a 99-yard carry by Slade Hurd.

At 63-7, the running clock threshold – a 35-point lead in the second half – was definitely reached.

As the third quarter began, quarterback Jackson Lucas scored the Cardinals’ last touchdown with a 94-yard rush, and Alex Dunne completed the home-team scoring by kicking his ninth extra point.

Belton ended the game scoring two touchdowns and an extra point for the final score of 71-20.

This is the third time Webb City has reached 70 points. The first two were when Webb City defeated Nevada here 70-67 in 2004 and MacDonald County 71-0 here to open districts in 2014.

Fast-start objective executed to near perfection against Belton

Coach Ryan McFarland says the Cardinals got better as a team during the bye week.

“After having a week off our players were ready to play Belton last Friday. We have spent some time talking about how we are now in the ‘second season’ and these are elimination games. I felt our focus and preparation was great heading into the game.

“Belton was a 6-4 team and making the team’s first trip to Cardinal Stadium. We wanted to get out to a fast start and make Belton have to play from behind.

“I feel our players executed that to near perfection. Momentum is such an important aspect of football games, and I feel that we were able to capture all the momentum early. 

“We have emphasized trying to be more explosive on offense, and we were able to accomplish that Friday night. I believe we had 7 one-play touchdown drives in the first half.”

Brody Eggleston’s interception sets up an 8-yard, 1-play touchdown by Andrew Elwell.

Pick-6 by Andrew Young.

98-yard, 1-play touchdown by Slade Hurd.

Stats by Tim Workman