Shocker in Harrisonville
By Andrew DeWitt The St. Joseph News-Press
HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Savannah’s defense doesn’t have a flashy nickname, but it deserves one.
The Savages stuffed Harrisonville’s fourth-and-2 rushing attempt in overtime to secure Savannah’s 13-6 win in Saturday’s Class 4 quarterfinal at Memorial Stadium. The Savages yielded only 117 yards of offense and never allowed the Wildcats’ offense to become comfortable at its own field.
Savannah also forced three turnovers, one which led to the Savages’ only touchdown in regulation.
“We stopped them, and that’s all that matters,” Burson said. “They had a great line. That was the biggest thing about them. It made it really tough. It’s the toughest game I’ve ever played.”
Blake McFadden’s touchdown pass to Blake Deal on the opening possession of the first overtime gave Savannah the lead. The defense still needed to win it.
Harrisonville went four-and-out on its possession, including the last running play on fourth-and-2. The officials hesitated and opted to double-check the spot of the ball, but when the ball the chain came out, the Wildcats were short by more than a yard.
The Savannah band and faithful that filled more than half of Harrisonville’s home venue went bananas while Harrisonville players collapsed to the ground gripped with defeat.
Savannah hosts No. 1-ranked and undefeated Webb City at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday at Savage Field. The Cardinals defeated Springfield Hillcrest 49-0 Saturday to advance. It will be a rematch of the 1997 state semifinal which Webb City won in Savannah’s only other trip this deep into the playoffs.
“One of the kids asked who we had, and I said it doesn’t matter who we have because we’re in the game,” Savannah coach Mark Cole said. “We’re in playing in the state semifinals at our home field.”
Cole found himself frustrated with Deal, his No. 1 wide receiver, but the senior wideout came through when it mattered.
Deal dropped a potential go-ahead touchdown just prior to his winning score. Cole opted to go away from Deal on a first-and-10 play from the 15 during the extra session.
“He’s our guy; he just comes up with play after play after play,” Cole said. “It’s funny in hindsight because I was aggravated he didn’t come down with the first one.”
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