Late score lifts Webb City to title game
By Andrew DeWitt The St. Joseph News-Press
SAVANNAH, Mo. — Savannah needed to defend 60 yards on Webb City’s final drive.
Before the Savages knew it, that margin whittled to a final yard with 11 seconds remaining. Savannah just couldn’t fight off Class 4’s undefeated No. 1 team.
Webb City running back Phoenix Johnson plowed into the end zone from 1 yard out on fourth-and-inches with 4 seconds left for the game-winning touchdown, which gave Webb City a 28-24 Class 4 semifinal victory at Savage Field Saturday. When Johnson sneaked into the end zone, Webb City’s fans went crazy, throwing hats and shaking the same bleachers that reverberated in the first quarter when Savannah led 21-0.
The final margin represented Webb City’s first and only lead, enough to send the Cardinals to the Show-Me Bowl for the third time in four year.
“No one expected for that game to be that close; we prepared like it was the state championship game,” Savannah senior linebacker Blake Burson said. “We did everything we could. Of course, there’s things to look back on that could have been different but that’s how it ended.”
Webb City’s game-winning drive started at its own 40-yard line with 5:56 left.
The Cardinals’ rushing trio of Johnson, Jamison Cady and quarterback Breckin Williams never busted off a gain of more than 10 yards on the drive but instead piled together short runs to chew up yards and kill the clock. Savannah forced two fourth-down attempts on the drive, the first coming at the 21-yard line.
Webb City nearly lost the game on a fumble on the next play but somehow managed to maintain possession. Johnson easily picked up the first, and four plays later, Johnson dove in on the fourth-and-inches play.
Savannah received the kickoff and tried multiple laterals before but Webb City made the clinching tackle to complete the miraculous comeback.
Webb City players flooded the field while Savannah players dropped to their knees after almost upsetting the tradition-rich powerhouse. The Savages felt a flood of emotions after their eight-game win streak came to a dramatic conclusion.
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