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Spartans gain footing, battle back from two-score deficit to whip CAK

Webb School of Knoxville’s Spartans found its losing streak over after a 31-14 win versus the Christian Academy of Knoxville Warriors Friday, Sept. 26, at Webb’s Faust Field.

Coaches, players and fans were all in agreement that it was great to be back on top after a three-game losing streak.

Freshman running back Caleb Blance said, “We found ourselves down and losing and we just found this was the perfect game to turn it around and get back on track.”

It appeared early on the game would be a blowout for CAK.

Within the first three minutes of play Warriors quarterback Michael Fromke’s 34-yard pass was caught by receiver Taylor Moran for a touchdown, putting CAK out to an early lead … and they weren’t quite finished. Fromke threw another touchdown pass with 4:27 left in the first half.

“I was second-guessing everything we were doing. Whether we were ready or not ready to play, whether we had too much going on to get ready for a football game,” Spartan head coach Dave Meske said.

Blance, who rushed for 232 yards and scored three of Webb’s four touchdowns, was not ready to give up.

With 59 seconds left in the first quarter, Blance rushed 26 yards to put the Spartans on the board.

In the first Spartan possession of the second half, Blance had done it again. Junior kicker Trey Blakely’s point-after-touchdown was good, tying the score 14-14.

Within seven minutes of play the momentum shift was palpable.

“I just get out there and play my game and encourage my team when we are out there to keep playing hard. I just keep repeating over and over ‘the game is not over, the game is not over.’ And we just turned around,” Blance said.

“Caleb is a player. For a freshman he can really make some plays. He is a sprinter. He is a track guy,” Meske said.

“He has a lot to learn yet, he’s got to get stronger, but he is a very good football player.”

Spartans defense was on top of its game as well, holding CAK scoreless in second, third and fourth quarters.

Junior Clark Johnson led in tackles with six and made the only interception of the evening, coming late in the third quarter.

“He got out of the pocket and was scrambling around. I kind of just creeped over in the corner, he didn’t really see me, and he threw the ball up and I just came out of nowhere and got it,” Johnson said.

Spartans Taino Perez, Justin Alexander, Jason Berube and Rick Nye all weighed in with four tackles each.

Meske changed up his game plan in the second half to keep the Warriors guessing.

“We ran sweeps the whole first half. We felt like they were going to shut down the sweep, they were going to make adjustments for the sweep, so we wanted to get something in the middle of the field to not allow them to run so fast to the sweep,” he said.

Blance’s 75-yard rush for a touchdown in the fourth quarter sealed the Warriors fate with 31 Spartans points on the board and not enough time for a comeback.

“The play was up the middle and I ran my block all the way through and I just hit it. I went to the outside and it busted open. All the blocking was perfect and I just went to the end zone,” Blance said.

Webb will hit the road again Friday, Oct. 3, to take on Father Ryan, in its third region game of the season. Opening kickoff is 7:30 p.m., CDT.

“We are 0-and-2 in the region right now and we gotta get a big win. If we win the rest of our region games we can still go to playoffs and we are going to start with this one,” Johnson said.


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