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Meske: Webb defense ‘great’ in 19-6 triumph at Austin-East

The Webb School of Knoxville Spartans began its 2008 football season with a resounding win versus the Austin-East Roadrunners Friday, Aug. 28, on the Roadrunners’ home turf.

In the pre-season Spartans head coach Dave Meske made no bones about the fact that he was looking to his returning defensive players to lead his young team, and they certainly stepped up to hand the Spartans a 19-6 victory.

“Our defense played great the whole game … made plays. They allowed us to win the football game,” Meske said.

In a no-score first half senior standout Josh Mosley, defensive back and wide receiver, made several key defensive plays but the offense couldn’t seem to make anything happen.

Even when Mosley, early in the first quarter with help from junior defensive back and running back Michael Carillon, intercepted a pass deep in their own territory.

“It was fourth down and we knew they were going to throw it up to number three. Michael Carillon made a great jump on that ball and I just turned around and caught it, it was a great play,” Mosley said.

“I knew I had a pick last year in this game and I wanted to come and get another one and I got it early. I was looking for a second one but it never got thrown my way again,” he added.

In the second half Austin-East struck hard, leading a march down the field, one first-down at a time, to score a touchdown with 5:14 left in the third quarter. They missed a two-point conversion, and left the lead at 6-0.

The Roadrunner celebration was short lived.

Freshman running back Caleb Blance stepped back to receive the Roadrunner kick … and turned it into an 80-yard touchdown run. The point-after-touchdown kick was good, leaving the Spartans up by one.

“That was definitely the momentum shifter,” Meske said.

From that point on it was Webb’s game. From interceptions to hard-hitting tackles to fumble recoveries and two more touchdowns, the Spartans were unstoppable.

Wormsley, who only threw the ball twice the entire game, threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Sean Panella with less than a minute left in the third quarter.

It looked as though the Spartans’ streak was over when, early in the fourth quarter, a fumble by Wormsley was recovered by the Roadrunners.

But in stepped junior wide receiver and running back Clark Johnson with an interception landing Webb at the Roadrunner 16.

“It was third down and we were up. We knew they were going to start throwing the ball … just panicking and throwing the ball. It wasn’t a great throw by the quarterback and I just got under the ball and made the play and stayed inbounds,” Johnson said.

When that turnover turned into a turnover for the Roadrunners, Mosley stepped up again.

The Roadrunner receiver was deep in the end zone, his quarterback let the ball fly, and Mosley deflected the would-be touchdown pass.

“I just read the quarterback the whole way and he put a little too much air under it and I came up beneath it,” he said.

Although Meske was happy with the win, he said the team can, and will, get better.

“We had 11 people on the field doing their job. That is what it takes. It takes 11 people on the field every play to do their job. You don’t know what play is going to win a game. But if you do your job every time with a lot of heart, you can’t miss one,” he added.

The Spartans will play its home opener at Faust Field Friday, Sept. 5, against region foe Pope John Paul II.

Opening kick-off is set for at 7:30 p.m.

When asked if he had any big concerns about the game, Johnson simply said, “Region game … we gotta win it … it’s the only way.”


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