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Spartans rush by Irish
Webb ground trio, defense smother Catholic

Webb extended its win streak to four games with a home rout over arch-rival Catholic in the annual Battle of the Bluff, 42-14.

The win last Thursday, Sept. 22, makes three a row over the Fighting Irish for the Spartans (4-2, 2-0 in Division II-A East-Middle) and senior Caleb Blance. Blance, a four-year starter, made his last game against Catholic count, amassing 210 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Blance's 54-yard run put the Spartans on top 14-0 after TK Kelly's initial 58-yard run on the first Webb possession.

“I saw the linebacker was blitzing so I took a hesitation step and it was wide open, I just had to run,” Blance said. “My line did a great job.”

The senior tailback eclipsed the 800-yard mark for the season with his second performance over 200 yards in as many games.

After a Catholic interception returned for touchdown, Kelly responded with another scoring run, from eight yards, making the score 21-7.

Kelly, who was hurt for last year's game against Catholic, finished with 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his first Battle of the Bluff.

“We knew they were going to come out, they had lost two in a row, so we had to hit them in the mouth,” the sophomore tailback said.

“I'm new to it but I know what it's like because I heard the fans going crazy. I'm looking forward to the next two years playing them again.”

But Blance and Kelly were not alone in the backfield for Webb. In fact, another pair of tailbacks scored for the Spartans en route to a 385-yard rushing performance.

With 1:15 left in the first half, the Spartans marched 84 yards before senior Jim Dolinak scored with five seconds left, putting them up 28-7 at the break.

Dolinak scored again from one yard with 5:06 left in the third quarter, and junior Bryan Berube finished the onslaught with an eight-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Webb's defense contained Catholic to 199 total yards and just one offensive touchdown, which came in the final seconds.

Seniors Brewer Congleton and Chase Carter both had nine tackles and helped contain Catholic running back Nolan Coulter to 102 yards.

Both teams had a short week to prepare for the televised Thursday night game.

“We focused hard on technique this week, and got it done,” Blance said. “I enjoyed every play. Getting out there and getting a big win. It's always fun to have a close game, but it's always fun having such a big win.

“I had to get my revenge from freshman year,” Blance added in reference to the Spartans’ most recent loss to the Irish, in 2008, as Catholic went on to win its first-ever state championship.

“It was a close game, it was a hard fought game, but these last three years I think we made up for it.”


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