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Two-point try fails, Spartans lose 27-26

MEMPHIS — It was a tough Friday night for the Webb Spartans as they suffered a 27-26 loss to the Harding Academy Lions.

It came down to a key play in the last few seconds of the game with the score 27-26. Webb had the option of tie or win after scoring a touchdown.

They chose to go all-out for the win, but the two-point conversion gamble didn’t pay off.

The Spartans struggled valiantly, but they suffered from a loss of key players A.J. Kirby-Jones and Joseph Ayres.

“That hurt us, not having two two-way starters,” said Webb head coach David Meske. “When you have two two-way starters not playing on the defensive line, that is a situation you don’t want to be in.”

Meske said the Lion offense overwhelmed the Spartan defense.

“Defensively we couldn’t stop them,” he said. “They had over four-hundred yards of offense and they did a great job of executing that offense. We didn’t do a super job on defense.”

Meske said the a couple of things hurt the Spartans, including not controlling the ball with two minutes left in the game and “we gave up a lot of third down and fourth down plays.”

Another contribution to the loss was the injury of Blake Beeler.

While playing on the Webb defense team, the senior starting quarterback suffered a serious head injury in the last few minutes before the half and had to be transported to a local hospital. The extent of his injuries was not known at press time.

“He’s really the glue that holds us together in that he’s the guy everyone looks to,” Meske said. “He’s a player.”

Second string quarterback Zack Dickson stepped in and did well, Meske said.

“He did a great job and threw a touchdown pass at the end of the game with twenty seconds on the clock,” he said. “Zack’s a senior, so he’ll do a good job.”

The Spartans moved the ball well offensively.

“Offensively we ran the ball well, we had over three hundred yards rushing,” Meske said. “We turned the ball over twice, which impacted the game. I thought we did a good job of executing our offense.”

Chad Manning rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns for Webb. He was followed closely by Derek Boyce, who rushed for 108 yards and also scored for Webb.

Off Sept. 22, Meske said the team is going to rest and look at improving its defense over the next two weeks before its Sept. 29 game at Battle Ground Academy.

“We’re going to have to evaluate our defense and see if we need to make any alignment changes or any personnel changes,” he said. “What will help us is we will get A.J. and Joseph Ayres back for our next game.”

Webb is now 3-2 for the season and 0-2 in Division II AA play.


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