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Spartans finally scratch 7-year Irish itch
Webb beats Catholic with 2nd-half shutout

There is a new King of the Hill this week after the Webb School of Knoxville Spartans broke a seven-year losing streak to Knoxville Catholic’s Fighting Irish Friday, Sept. 25, at Webb’s Faust Field.

The longtime rivalry game, nicknamed “The Battle for the Bluff,” was well played and hard fought between two evenly matched teams.

But even with Webb’s All-state running back Caleb Blance playing sparingly due to a recent ankle injury, in the end the Spartans’ wing-T offense was too much for the Irish and Webb took the Bluff 21-10.

The Spartans drew first blood with 5:35 left in the first quarter when senior running back Jarvus Jones rushed up the gut with an 8-yard touchdown run.

The Irish, not to be left completely scoreless in the first, quickly followed up with a 33-yard field goal to make it 7-3.

The back-and-fourth continued until, late in the second quarter, Spartan freshman running back Aaron Blance fumbled an Irish punt and set up Catholic for its next TD, putting the Irish up 10-7.

As atonement, with 49 seconds left in the half, Blance return the kickoff 68 yards downfield and Parker Wormsley’s pass to junior wide receiver David Wilhoite again put the Spartans in the lead 14-10.

“Coach was like, ‘we gotta make up for that.’ I fumbled it and it was my fault so I said, ‘I gotta pick this up for the team. I gotta make up for it.’ So I saw that opening and I hit it,” Aaron said.

The deal was sealed with 3:21 left in the third when freshman Bryan Berube skipped up the middle for a 2-yard TD, giving the Spartans a 10-point lead.

“I was just motivated after my early fumble to get out here and run hard and prove I could do some stuff on the field,” Berube said. “Our line did great and that really helped. I just had to follow them and everything fell into place.”

Spartans head coach Dave Meske said, “Bryan is a freshman and he has got tremendous speed. He’s got a lot to learn but he works hard and he is going to be a really good football player.”

Senior kicker Trey Blakely, 24-of-26 in points-after-touchdowns this season, added insult to injury to make the score 21-10.

Meske, Spartans head coach for 25 years, has had to endure a seven-year string of losses to the Fighting Irish.“It is great for these kids,” he said. “They have worked really hard. We were ahead at half- time and we just said ‘we gotta finish this game.’ And we did finish it.

“They are a great football team … we just beat one heck of a football team. I am glad we didn’t lose our composure. We made some mistakes and after those mistakes we had people step up and make some big plays.”

Senior Justin Alexander, who played a great defensive game tucking two fumble recoveries under his belt for the night, said beating Catholic his senior year was “unbelievable.”

“I don’t even know how to explain it,” he said. “All that hard work … it was worth it. I think we got some respect tonight.

“The guys were playing hard, going 100 percent, and they were able to hit the ball and knock it loose and I was able to just pick it up and run,” he added.

This week, Friday, Oct. 2, Webb hosts Lancaster Christian Academy, Division II-A East-Middle Region.

Opening kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


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