BY JASON PEAKE
With five seconds showing on the scoreboard, and with an extra-point kick imminent, the scenario was simple.
A ball through the uprights would most likely send the game into overtime, while a miss would all but conclude a back-andforth clash. In the end, the kick sailed wide right and Webb City held on for a 28-27 victory over Camdenton in a Class 4 quarterfinal thriller on Saturday afternoon at a packed Cardinal Stadium.
"Sometimes it's about making one more play or even getting lucky," Webb City coach John Roderique said.
"We've been on both ends of it. I can't say enough about how proud I am of our kids. They kept battling and kept fighting. That's a good football team. Hats off to Camdenton. But we overcame adversity and our guys stepped up to the challenge."
"That was a heck of a football game between two teams that didn't want to lose," Camdenton coach Jeff Shore said. "That's the best way I can say it. Unfortunately, we came up a point short."
In a rematch of last year's state title game, Webb City (13-0) will host Ladue (13-0) at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the semifinals.
Trailing 28-21, Camdenton scored with five seconds remaining on junior quarterback Paxton DeLaurent's 1-yard keeper.
After the score, it appeared as if the Lakers were going to attempt a 2-point conversion when Webb City called timeout. After the stoppage, Luke Galbreath's PAT kick was off the mark.
"From our sideline we could see it and it didn't miss by much," Roderique said.
"Unfortunately, sometimes those things happen," Shore said. "That's part of playing ball. And we made plenty of other mistakes in that ballgame."
After the ensuing onside kick, the Cardinals took a knee to run out the final seconds.
"Webb City is awfully talented and I thought our defense played well the whole game," Shore said. "I was proud of the way our kids played."
Webb City compiled 341 yards of offense, with 230 rushing and 111 passing.
Senior Durand Henderson ran 16 times for 136 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with an apparent ankle injury. Senior quarterback Cade Beason completed 9-of-16 passes for 111 yards and classmate Alex Gaskill hauled in three passes for 60 yards.
The Cardinals were flagged 13 times for 75 yards, while the Lakers had four penalties for 35 yards.
Camdenton (11-2) recorded 293 yards of offense, with 322 passing and negative-29 rushing. The 6-foot-4 De-Laurent completed 28-of-43 passes for 322 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
In a game full of ups and downs, the Lakers scored on the second play of the game when DeLaurent completed a short screen pass to Dylan Tufts, who then sprinted all the way to the end zone for a 55-yard score.
"We caught them on the blitz," Shore said. "I thought that got us going early."
The Cardinals tied the game on senior running back Henderson's 75-yard touchdown sprint up the middle with 4:04 left in the first quarter.
Aided by good field position following a Webb City turnover, the Lakers took a 14-7 lead at the 9:11 mark of the second period on DeLaurent's 38-yard touchdown pass to Jaben Shockley.
Trailing at the break for the first time this season, Webb City had seven penalties and three turnovers in the first half.
After an interception by Gaskill gave the hosts great field position, the Cardinals tied the game with 4:03 left in the third period when Beason connected with Gary Clinton on a seven- yard touchdown strike.
Sergio Perez scored on a three-yard touchdown run with 11:20 left to put the Cardinals in front, but the Lakers responded, as DeLaurent completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Shockley, tying the game at 21 with 8:55 left.
Capping an eight-play, 65-yard drive, Perez gave Webb City a 28-21 lead with 5:48 left on a two-yard run. The score was set up by a 31-yard reception by Gaskill.
Taking advantage of two Webb City offside penalties, the Lakers were able to put together a 19-play, 87-yard scoring drive before the missed PAT sealed the deal.
"This game was really something," said Gaskill, a wide receiver/defensive back. "We gave everything we had the whole game and we were rewarded at the end. To go through all the adversity we did today and win was just amazing."
Joplin Globe 11/18/2018 (Used by permission)