WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City’s streak of consecutive district championships has now reached 20, as the top-seeded Cardinals beat third-seeded Bolivar 37-14 on Friday night in the Class 4 District 6 title game at Cardinal Stadium.
Webb City (11-1) will travel to District 5 champion Camdenton (12-0) next Friday in the quarterfinals. The Lakers beat Lebanon 35-7.
Under the direction of longtime coach John Roderique, the Cardinals have captured a district crown in every year of the 2000s.
“We’ve had a lot of great kids and a lot of great coaches who have been here through those years,” Roderique said. “We’re blessed to be where we’re at right now for sure. There’s a lot of pressure on these kids because of previous success, but I think our kids handle it pretty well. They just grind every day trying to get better.”
None of Webb City’s players were even born when the program’s district championship streak began. But this year’s group of Cardinals are well aware of the significance of keeping the run of success going.
“This means a lot to me and the guys,” Webb City senior quarterback Kade Hicks said. “We get to continue what has been done in the past and it feels good to continue that tradition.”
“It’s great to keep it going,” added Sergio Perez, a senior linebacker who made a team-high eight tackles. “We’re proud, but never satisfied. This win earned us another week together and we’re ready to move on.”
The Liberators, who entered the night averaging 48 points per game, were limited to 50 yards of offense in the first half and were shut out for three quarters by Webb City’s fast and physical defense.
“I thought our defense played outstanding,” Roderique said. “That’s a talented football team. Their quarterback was throwing it all over the field. They have capable receivers and their running back was tough. I thought we had an advantage up front. And to play the way we did, I’m really proud of our guys.”
Bolivar, ending an 11-1 campaign, finished with 249 yards of offense, 139 rushing and 110 passing. Hayden Burks completed 12-of-28 passes and was picked off twice, while Eathen Dinwiddie ran 19 times for 89 yards.
“We had to be marksmen on defense,” Perez said. “We watched a lot of film this week and we were ready. We wanted to win the hitting game and that’s what we did.”
Webb City compiled 454 yards of offense, with 334 on the ground and 120 through the air.
Devrin Weathers rushed for 157 yards on 14 carries, while Terrell Kabala added 95 yards on eight attempts. Hicks completed 4-of-6 passes for 85 yards, with Mekhi Garrard hauling in four passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals scored the first 37 points.
After forcing Bolivar into a turnover on downs on the opening series, the hosts needed just two plays to take the lead for good, as Kabala picked up a first down on the ground before Hicks completed a 53-yard touchdown pass to Garrard.
The two teams traded turnovers before Weathers went nearly untouched en route to a 75-yard touchdown sprint up the middle, giving the Cardinals a 14-0 lead with 4:52 left in the first quarter.
The hosts extended their lead early in the second period, as a two-yard touchdown plunge by Kabala capped a 59-yard, 11-play drive. Cameron Clark’s 29-yard field goal gave the Cardinals a 23-0 halftime lead.
Webb City marched 62 yards on 10 plays to start the third period, with Hicks hooking up with Garrard for an 18-yard touchdown strike. Kabala’s four-yard touchdown run pushed Webb City’s lead to 37-0 at the end of the third quarter.
The Liberators scored twice late in the game against Webb City’s reserves, as Dinwiddie scored on a two-yard run and Parker Erickson hauled in a 24-yard TD pass from Burks.
The late scores didn’t put a damper on the hosts’ postgame mood.
“The guys and I are really fired up right now,” Hicks said. “All of us are ready to play Camdenton next week.”