The Webb City Cardinals didn’t become the undisputed kings of Missouri Class 4 football without learning, somewhere along the way, how to properly take a punch to the mouth.
Rockhurst dizzied the four-time defending state champs on Friday, but couldn’t deliver a knockout blow as Webb City scored 40 consecutive points on its way to a 40-14 victory on a rainy night at Rockhurst High School.
It was a lopsided affair between the two powerhouses. Webb City, as a program, has 12 overall state titles — all of which have been won since 1989 — and Rockhurst has nine of its own.
The game hinged at the line of scrimmage, where Webb City’s offensive and defensive lines prevailed after the first half of the first quarter.
“When you play their offense for the first time, you know that can happen when you don’t play as physical as they do,” Rockhurst coach Tony Severino said. “We were misaligned and making some wrong reads and when you do that against them, that’s what happens.”
It looked early like the Class 6 Hawklets, 1-1, might do something only Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber has done since 2003 — hand the Cardinals a regular season loss. Rockhurst recovered a fumble on the third play of the game, scored seven plays later and then put together a quick touchdown drive after a Webb City three-and-out to take a 14-0 lead with 4:44 left in the first quarter.
But that merely miffed the Cardinals, 2-0, who then took over the game with their efficient and grinding veer option attack. Webb City capped a 13-play drive with a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, forced a Rockhurst punt and then cut the lead to 14-13 on Kiante Hardin’s spectacular catch on a 37-yard toss from Tyson Roderique.
Webb City added two more scores before halftime to take a 27-14 lead. The teams then waited through a one hour, 40-minute weather delay and finally started the second half at 9:52 p.m.
Rockhurst’s luck hadn’t changed.
Rock’s T.J. Green, who passed for 180 yards on the night, completed a 61-yard pass on the third play of the half, but Hardin forced a fumble and Webb City took over at its own 7-yard line.
Webb City then marched 97 yards on 20 plays — 19 of them runs — to burn 8:42 off the clock and push its lead to 34-14.
Webb City eclipsed the 300-yard mark on the ground, led by Tyler Davison’s 134 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Roderique completed all four of his passes for 86 yards.