The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 13, 2012

Dragons' 1-2 punch is focus for Cards

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— By now, the Webb City High School football defense should be familiar with the names Kevin Hennessy and Brandon Polito.

“Those two are the main offensive threats,” Cardinal coach John Roderique said on Tuesday of the St. Louis St. Mary’s seniors.

Webb City (13-0 with a 43-game winning streak) visits the Dragons (11-2 and in the semifinals for the first time) for a 1:30 p.m. game on Saturday in the MSHSAA Class 4 playoffs.

Hennessy is the quarterback for coach Jake Parent. Polito apparently is a bruising running back.

“He isn’t very tall. But he’s about 205 pounds,” Roderique said of Polito. “He runs very hard. He’s a load to bring down, You can’t arm-tackle him.

“Hennessy is a good runner, too,” Roderique said. “He does a good job in the option.”

Polito has rushed for 1,515 yards on 187 carries. He has 39 touchdowns in scoring 236 points.

Polito rushed 24 times for 227 yards and three touchdowns as the Dragons beat visiting Hillsboro 37-14 last Saturday in a quarterfinal game. St. Mary’s led 30-14 at the half two rushing TDs from both Hennessy (47 yards, 30), who rushed 12 times for 105 yards, and Polite (24, 25).

Polito added a 49-yard scoring run in the final quarter at 8:34.

Cardinal defensive leaders

Dalton Humphrey and Logan Williams each logged 11 tackles in the Webb City 35-6 quarterfinal win against visiting Sullivan.

Nate Brown and Jose Speer added 6 and 5 tackles, respectively, for the two-time defending state champion.

Brown, of course, added a block of a field goal attempt — returned by Phoenix Johnson for a touchdown — and a blocked punt.

A famous alum

St. Mary’s most famous alum athletically?

Dragon athletics director offered (the young guys won’t get one) major league catcher Joe Garagiola.

The same Garagiola who became a broadcaster and television show host.

The other semifinal

Jefferson City Helias Catholic visits Harrisonville to determine an opponent for Webb City or St. Mary’s at 11 a.m. on Nov. 24 in the Show-Me Bowl at St. Louis in the Edward Jones Dome.

Harrisonville beat Helias 38-37 in overtime in an opener this season.

Helias rushed 59 times for 258 yards in the Crusaders’ 31-8 win against Clayton in the quarterfinals. Clayton completed 20 of 34 yards for just 103 yards.