BY JASON PEAKE
John Roderique has directed the Webb City Cardinals to a district championship in every year of the 2000s.
And although a deep postseason run has become a regular occurrence for his program, the veteran coach of the Cardinals still appreciates the significance of each playoff appearance. "ou can't take this stuff for granted," Roderique said. "It doesn't just happen. There's a lot of work involved."
With a semifinal berth on the line, Webb City (120) hosts Camdenton (11-1) at 1 p.m. today in a Class 4 quarterfinal at Cardinal Stadium.
"It feels really good to be at this point with this team," Roderique said. "I'm extremely proud of our kids and our coaches for the work they've put in. It's very gratifying to be able to play another game, so we're excited about Saturday."
Webb City handled Neosho 35-7 last Friday for the District 6 crown, while Camdenton defeated St. Francis Borgia 24-13 in District 5. The defending state champion Cardinals have been clicking on all cylinders in recent weeks. In fact, Webb City has outscoredits opponents 333-53 in the last seven weeks.
"We feel like we've progressed each week," Roderique said. "We feel like we're playing pretty good football right now. Only time will tell if we're still improving. You get confirmation of that each week on the field."
Ranked first in Class 4 by the Missouri Media, Webb City is averaging 42 points per game while surrendering just 10 points a contest. The Cardinals are averaging 294 rushing yards and 96 passing yards per game.
Senior Durand Henderson leads Webb City's ground attack with 1,227 yards and 23 touchdowns. Sophomore Devrin Weathers has contributed 978 rushing yards and 12 scores. Weathers' status for today's game is uncertain as he is dealing with a leg injury.
Senior quarterback Cade Beason has passed for 848 yards with 10 touchdowns and has also ran for 490 yards with six scores. Senior Alex Gaskill (369 yards, 7 TD) and junior Terrell Kabala (352, 4 TD) are leading receivers.
Ranked eighth in Class 4, Camdenton has won nine straight games since a 41-7 loss to West Plains in Week 3.
Camdenton limited Borgia to 22 rushing yards on 23 attempts. The Lakers threw for 172 yards and ran for 140 in last week's win over the Knights.
Senior Gabe Kurtz scored two rushing touchdowns for the Lakers, while 6-foot-4 junior quarterback Paxton DeLaurent completed a touchdown pass to seniorDylan Tufts. Sophomore Eli Griffin and senior Lathan Wise are other running threats. Senior linebacker Kylan Draper
is a leader of the defense.
Roderique said the Lakers will provide a tough test.
"Their overall team speed and athleticism stands out to me," Roderique said. "They're not very big, but they're extremely fast and they have some hard-nosed kids. What they're doing now on offense with their spread attack is designed to utilize the kids they have."
Roderique noted his team's defense will need to limit Camdenton's big plays, while the offense will need to sustain drives.
"We'll have to make tackles and limit their yards after the catch," he said. "We have to control the line of scrimmage. It's going to be a game where we'll want to control the ball on offense and keep their offense off the field."
Webb City defeated Camdenton 40-14 in last year's district semifinals. Today'swinner will meet the West Plains-Ladue winner in the semifinals on Nov. 24
Joplin Globe 11/17/2018 (Used by permission)