Keaton Burroughs scored on a 6-yard run with 50.9 seconds remaining as No. 14 Webb City (Mo.) escaped with a 14-7 victory against Carl Junction to remain alive in the hunt for another state title.
The five-time defending state champion Cardinals trailed 7-0 for most of the game before scoring twice in the final 15 minutes to win the state Class 4, District 5 semifinal. Webb City is the No. 1 seed in the district; Carl Junction was the No. 4 seed.
For Webb City, it was their 39th consecutive victory.
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“I was standing there on the sideline and I’m getting ready to start crying because these seniors mean so much to us,” coach John Roderique said of the final minutes, “but sometimes you get lucky.”
On a cold, rainy and windy night, there were plenty of fumbles and loose balls on the ground.
“This was a great example of there being such a fine line between winning and losing, a little something here or there,” Roderique said. “We got several breaks, it seems like, and we couldn’t do much. Congratulations to them on a great football team. They played lights out over there.
“We just feel good coming off the field tonight and be able to playing next week.”
Hunter Van Lue gave Webb City its first points of the game with 2:20 left in the third quarter. Webb City missed the two-point conversion.
The Cardinals gained possession with about 9 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter on an interception by Nate Deadmond, but their drive was backed up by a penalty after the interception.
With backup quarterback Andrew Greek at the controls after starter Tyson Roderique was injured for the second time, the Cardinals were facing a fourth-and-17 with 4:15 remaining and attempted a 47-yard field goal that came up short.
Carl Junction attempted to run out the clock and picked up a first down but then fumbled, giving the ball back to Webb City at the Carl Junction 38-yard line with 2:33 remaining.
Greek completed a key third-and-7 play to propel the drive and then Burroughs rumbled for 18 yards to the 6 on a second-and-8 with 1:03 remaining. He scored on the next play and then ran in the two-point conversion for the 14-7 lead.
Webb City then held for the final 50 seconds as Carl Junction attempted to pull the comeback.
“There are two teams that have scored a lot of points over the last couple of years and the defensive production was helped out by the weather for both sides, but I can’t say enough about our has done and what they did tonight,” Roderique said.