The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

November 7, 2010

Webb City ready for Helias

Webb City and Jefferson City Helias continue their rivalry tonight in the MSHSAA Class 4 football playoffs.

Webb City is 2-0 against the Crusaders by winning 24-21 in overtime at Jefferson City in the 2003 quarterfinals — Casey Eichelberger kicked the winning field goal — and 41-34 in the 2008 Show-Me Bowl in the Edward Jones Dome at St. Louis.

”Sure, we’d take a one-point victory ... any kind of a victory,” Webb City coach John Roderique said before the Cardinals’ practice on Sunday at their Cardinal Stadium.

This game in the sectional round is scheduled for 7 at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City.

Webb City, ranked second behind defending champion Kearney in the final poll of the regular season conducted by the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, and No. 8 Helias have respective records of 11-0 and 7-4.

“Helias, considering the way it’s been performing and the fact it’s at home, will be the best team we will have played this season,” Roderique said.

The Crusaders lost to Kearney in the 2009 Class 4 final, Roderique reminded.

Helias, a 27-13 winner against Bolivar in the showdown for District 12 supremacy, knocked off visiting Carthage last Wednesday night 34-13 in the first round of the playoffs. District 11 champion Webb City, meanwhile, handled visiting Bolivar 48-13.

Helias, coached by Chris Hentges, has won eight consecutive home playoff games.

Added Roderique: “Helias is a physical team with good people up front on both sides of the ball. They have several guys who can hurt you on offense. They spread you out to make them more difficult to defend.

“Helias loves to run the ball. The quarterback (Zach Rockers) makes good decisions. (Greg) Lorang and (Brendan) Roberts run the ball very hard. They love to run trap, toss sweep, speed option and fold-blocking schemes.”

Rockers has thrown for 2.046 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s rushed for 463 yards. Lorang has rushed for 1,148 yards and 16 scores.

“They defensively become tougher the closer you get to the goal line,” Roderique said. “They do a great job of keeping you out of the end zone after you’ve made the red zone.

“They will give us multiple looks on defense,” Roderique said. “They will line up in a 4-3 as their base defense. Their down linemen are strong, physical and aggressive up-field players.

“So far their defensive line definitely will be the best we’ve played,” Roderique said.

The Helias-Webb City winner will play Springfield Hillcrest or Union in the quarterfinals.

Notes: Webb City injured guard Gage Belcher is again expected to miss the game. He’s been replaced by junior classmate Carson Powell. ... Crusaders have lost No. 2 receiver Jeremy Braun, a senior, because of broken collarbone. ... Webb City senior Austin Daniel scored touchdowns on both offense and defense in Cardinals’ win against Bolivar to equal his feat in Week 9 of the regular season. ... Bolivar’s final record was 9-2 rather than the reported 8-2 in Thursday’s Globe.

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