BY JASON PEAKE
The rivalry games of August and September are now in the rearview mirror for the Webb City Cardinals.
With clashes against Carl Junction, Joplin, Neosho and Carthage behind them, Webb City's final four regular- season games in October will come against Springfield- area foes.
Ranked second in Class 4 by the Missouri Media, Webb City (4-1) hosts Willard (2-3) at 7 tonight at Cardinal Stadium in Week 6 of the prep football season.
After last week's 32-7 win at Carthage, Webb City coach John Roderique hopes to see his team make improvements again this week.
"Last week's game is on the shelf and every week is a new challenge," Roderique said. "We're just trying to get better this week. We can still clean some things up like penalties. There's always something to work on and get better at. That's what we're focusing on in practice this week. We're also focusing on how to defend The Cardinals will look to extend their win streak to four on a night they celebrate homecoming.
For the season, Webb City has outscored its opponents 170-48. No other team in the conference is anywhere close to the 48 points allowed, as the second-lowest total is the 93 points given up by Nixa. Carthage has surrendered 95, Willard has given up 103 and Joplin has allowed 110.
Webb City is averaging 262 rushing yards and 87 passing yards per game.
Four different players have recorded more than 200 rushing yards this season for Webb City. Junior Devrin Weathers leads the Cardinals with 383 rushing yards and six touchdowns, while senior Terrell Kabala has 283 yards and five scores. Senior Kade Hicks has ran for 264 yards and three touchdowns and senior Dillon Harlen has contributed 236 yards and three scores.
The Cardinals will play without Kabala, who must sit out after being ejected in last week's game.
Hicks has passed for 255 yards and three scores, while Eli Goddard has thrown for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Cale Mc-Callister is the top receiver with 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Cameron Clark has converted 20-of-24 PAT kicks.
Webb City's defense is allowing just 9.6 points per game. Leaders in tackles are Sergio Perez (33), Treghan Parker (29), Trenten Thompson (27), Gavin Surber (24), Ruben Lenker (22) and Brayden Bond (21).
Brock Roweton's Willard Tigers have had an up and down season thus far.
The Tigers lost to Joplin 36-13, handled Ozark 40-3, fell to Nixa 10-7, beat Carl Junction 48-6 and then lost to Republic 48-43 last Friday.
"They've had some big wins and some close losses," Roderique said. "They're probably searching for consistency. They look like a solid team to me. You watch them on film, and you think they can play with anyone in our conference."
Willard was balanced offensively last week, passing for 266 yards and running for 260. The Tigers are led by senior quarterback Reece Dawson. Senior Garrett Rice is a top running threat for Willard. A Missouri baseball recruit, Rice recorded 93 rushing yards last week, including a 61-yard touchdown run.
Marshall Swadley and Thomas Frandsen are other running threats, while Maurice Grayer and Justin McHenry are top receivers. As always, the Tigers feature a lot of size up front.
"Willard has always had big, physical kids and they still do," Roderique said. "They have good linemen. They may have more team speed this year."
In Week 5, Willard held a lead with 2:07 remaining before Republic marched 80 yards for a go-ahead score. Willard was inside the Republic 20 late in the game, but a pass into the end zone was broken up.
These two teams could see each other again in district play. Webb City is currently on top of the Class 4 District 6 standings with 50.5 points, with Bolivar (47.5) second, West Plains (46.9) third and Willard (40.5) fourth.
Joplin Globe 10/04/2019 (Used by permission)