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Despite Blance, Webb state ‘threepeat’ hopes dashed

The past two years, Webb won at home in the state semifinals to punch its ticket to Cookeville.

Friday Nov. 18, the Spartans (9-3, 6-1) did not have the same luck. University School of Jackson defeated Webb 48-27, snapping the 21-game win streak at Faust Field.

USJ quarterback Ryan Garner, a junior, finished with only six incompletions and more than 300 passing yards.

“He’s smart,” Webb junior defensive back/quarterback Jack Grayson said. “He really thinks about every throw and every single play before the snap.

“The thing that made him so successful is that he was patient and just kept throwing those 10 and 15 yard passes. Those are hard to defend every play.”

With Webb down 13-0, Spartans senior tailback Caleb Blance responded with a 7-yard touchdown run.

Blance, Webb’s all-time leading rusher, finished with 151 yards and all four Spartans TDs Friday. He ended 2011 with more than 1,700 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns in 12 games.

Despite Blance, the Spartans’ offense was held under 300 total yards for the first time since Week 2 against Ensworth.

Alternating touchdown runs from USJ tailback Lee Mayhall, who finished with five rushing touchdowns and more than 200 all-purpose yards, and Blance put the halftime score at 20-13.

“We just couldn’t stop them on defense,” Webb linebacker Brewer Congleton said.

On USJ’s first possession of the second half, Garner’s 98-yard TD pass took the wind out of Webb’s sails. “They were running great routes,” safety Todd Kelly Jr. said. “We were looking in the backfield too much and that’s on the defensive backs.

“We were fighting and didn’t give up. That’s what I’m very proud of,” Kelly added. “I’m proud of these seniors. They played hard the whole season.”


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