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Spartans ‘leap’ Panthers
Improved defense, Boyce running helps Webb clip Powell 21-14


Webb School of Knoxville’s Spartans lanced the Powell High School Panthers 21-14 Friday, Aug. 25, and came out of the fracas with only a few claw marks.

This game marked the fourth consecutive year the Spartans (2-0) handed the Panthers a loss and featured a 71-yard touchdown run by Spartan running back Derek Boyce.

Webb head coach Dave Meske spoke highly of both teams’ performances. “Our defense played much better this week than it did last week,” Meske said. “Powell is a darn good football team, but our defense hung in there and created opportunities to get a stop. Our defense is centered around making them move the ball down the field.”

On Powell’s first possession, the Spartans pounced on a fumble. This opened up the opportunity for Spartan quarterback Blake Beeler to complete a 35-yard pass to running back Bo Johnson, who ran it in for a touchdown with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. Kicker Steve Ball made the extra point, making the score 7-0.

Powell moved the ball up the field quickly with short passes. Panther quarterback Kenny Cruze ran 22-yards run from the 50 and seemed headed for a touchdown until he was brought down on the Webb 32 by Bo Johnson with two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Powell moved the ball deeper in Webb territory, but an interception by Johnson put the Spartans on the offensive.

The Panther defense, however, had no intention of letting their prey escape. The Spartans weren’t able to move the ball past their own 11 and were forced to punt.

The Panthers returned the ball to the Webb 43, and Kruze ran 18-yards for a touchdown with seven minutes left in the half. But the Panthers missed the extra point, keeping it 7-6 Spartans.

Webb answered with Beeler’s five-yard run for a touchdown with 28 seconds left in the first half. Ball made the extra point, making it 14-6.

A Webb pass early in the third quarter to the PHS 10 found a Panther instead of a Spartan receiver and was run back 38 yards to the Powell 48 with seven minutes left in the quarter.

Webb players stood their ground defensive and the Spartans took over on its own 25.

With four minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Webb linemen opened up a hole and Boyce rocketed through it for a 71-yard TD run. Ball again converted.

“He was fresh,” Meske said of Boyce. “He made a good run.”

“I was really excited when the hole opened up,” Boyce said after the game. “Our guards, Matt Campbell and A.J. Kirby-Jones, opened up the hole for me. It’s a really exciting thing.”

Powell wasted no time in moving the ball. With two minutes remaining in the quarter, Panther Samy Abidi ran 30-yards run for a touchdown — and with a successful two-point conversion cut the Webb lead to 21-14.

 

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