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Spartans ‘didn’t make the plays needed,’ fall short versus Pope John Paul II

The first Division II AA game was a disappointing one for the Webb School of Knoxville Spartans, who lost 24-16 Friday, Sept. 1, to the Pope John Paul II Knights on Knight turf near Nashville.

This leaves the Spartans 2-1 for the season and 0-1 for the division.

“I thought we did a good job, but we just didn’t make the plays we needed,” Webb head coach David Meske said. “In the first quarter, we had the ball inside the ten-yard-line and came away with no points. It was seven-seven at the half and we felt like we should have scored more points in the first half. We didn’t get it done.”

Meske said the team garnered a penalty the first time it moved the ball inside the 10-yard-line and threw an interception in the second half, all of which contributed to the halt in the Spartan onslaught. Meske also said his team didn’t defend the corner as well as they have in the past.

“Those things can happen, even to a good football team,” Meske said. “We felt our coverage guys did a good job.”

Meske said the Spartans didn’t lose heart, but they “gave up too many yards in the second half with them [Knights] running the football.

“In the second half, we twice had them third and long and they got first down,” he added. “When you’re third-and-long, you’ve got to get off the field and we didn’t get off the field.”

Meske said there is no question the Spartan team members have the desire to win and put out the effort to make it happen.

“You can always do things when you have that,” he said. “We’re going to work on our run defense and make some adjustment there. We’re going to have to work on basic technique as far as offense is concerned.”

Meske said quarterback Blake Beeler stood out as a leader for the game. According to Spartan team statistician Arthur Long, Beeler had 13 carries and rushed for 98 yards in the game. He also had one touchdown and one interception.

“He [Beeler] did a really great job,” Meske said. “We thought he could get to the corner. He got to the corner early and he played hard. He’s a play- maker.”

Meske said his team would take all that happened, learn from it and improve for the rest of the season.

Webb scored seven in the first quarter, but the Knights came back with a touchdown and extra point of their own in the second quarter. The Knights scored 10 in the third quarter. The Spartans garnered 9 points in the fourth quarter while Pope John Paul earned 7.

Other highlights of the game include Chad Manning, who had 12 carries for 70 yards. Junior Brandt Campbell had seven carries for 48 yards. Sophomore Joseph Ayres had one 35-yard punt.


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