The Webb City High School Cardinals football team defeated the Carthage High School Tigers football team 28-21. This first loss for the Tigers advanced the Cardinals to the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) state quarterfinals.
Earlier in the regular season the Carthage Tigers defeated the Webb City Cardinals 42-14. The early loss to the Tigers put the Cardinals with two losses on the season for the first time since 2016.
Webb City has had a historically successful football program with seven Missouri state championships in the past ten years. The sudden loss to Carthage shocked the Webb City football team and, with a third loss to Nixa, the season was shaping up to be the first year the Cardinals did not bring home the district championship in 22 years.
The Webb City High School Cardinals football team faced the Carthage High School Tigers football team on Nov. 12 at the Tigers’ home field. With an intense rivalry on the line, both sides of stadium were filled with eager fans and students.
Webb City struggled early against Carthage with a fumbled recovered by Carthage on the second play of the game. With good field position, the Tigers’ senior quarterback Caden Kabance punched the football one yard into the endzone capping off a 33-yard run.
With a 7-0 deficit, the Cardinals fumbled the ball again during the first play of the drive. This gave the Carthage Tigers a 33-yard scoop and score, pushing the lead to 14-0 for the Tigers. Immediately, the atmosphere for the Webb City bench and stands fell silent.
In a nine play, 67-yard drive, Webb City responded with a touchdown from senior running back Cade Wilson. With three minutes left in the first quarter the Cardinals made it onto the scoreboard 14-6.
With new life in them, the Cardinals continued to fight into the second quarter with a 38-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Cohl Vaden to junior wide receiver Dante Washington.
A two-point conversion attempted initially failed but was called back because of a horse collar violation on Carthage. During the second attempt senior running back Dupree Jackson found the endzone making the score tied at 14-14 with 11:28 remaining in the second quarter.
Neither team was able to create points during the remainder of the second period. The third quarter saw no progress from either team and the score remained 14-14 going into the fourth quarter.
A drive by the Webb City Cardinals was helped from a 49-yard run by the quarter on third down in the fourth quarter. With six minutes left in the game, Webb City scored with a four-yard quarterback keeper bringing the score to 21-14 in favor of the Cardinals.
The Carthage Tigers continued to struggle during the fourth quarter and was unsuccessful in score for six straight possessions. However, the team rallied and tied the score again with a 24-yard touchdown bringing the score to 21-21.
After the kickoff, the Cardinals were unsuccessful in their drive and were forced to punt the ball away. During the punt, the Tiger’s receiver fumbled the football leading to a recovery by senior middle linebacker Cooper Crouch with the help of junior middle linebacker Lucas Ott.
With 3:22 remaining in the game, an eight play and 40-yard drive was capped off with another quarterback keeper making the score 28-21 with 27 seconds left.
The Tigers attempted to score but the drive was cut short with an interception by junior defensive back Dante Washington sealing the game for the Cardinals. With a final score of 28-21, the Cardinals continue their playoff run with their 22ndconsecutive district championship under their belt.
The Webb City Cardinals will face Lebanon Yellowjackets in the state quarterfinals on Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m. with the Yellowjackets hosting the Cardinals.