WEBB CITY — The Webb City Cardinals used a 28-0 first half to earn their 19th consecutive district title with a 35-7 victory Friday night over the Neosho Wildcats in the Class 4, District 6 championship game at Cardinal Stadium.
The Wildcats played the Cardinals even in the second half, but the damage had already been done in the first 24 minutes during which Webb City held a 258-20 edge in total yards from scrimmage. Neosho managed just a single first down in the first half, and it came about 90 seconds remaining before halftime.
Neosho forced a Webb City fumble to open the second half and the Cardinals missed a field goal on their second possession of the half.
Durand Henderson broke a 44-yard touchdown run to open the fourth quarter in style and Neosho closed out the scoring with a 54-yard touchdown pass from Gage Kelley to Tre Letts. As they say, Letts would not be denied the end zone.
The Wildcats finished 8-4 overall and improved by six wins from last season. Neosho won six games against opponents it lost against last season, all of them in the Central Ozark Conference (Branson, Carl Junction, Nixa, Ozark, Republic, and Willard).
Neosho's four losses came against district champions Webb City (twice), Carthage, and Joplin, three of the best teams in the state.
Webb City improved to 12-0 overall and the Cardinals extended their winning streak to 27 games headed into a state quarterfinal game against Camdenton (11-1).
It was second verse, same as the first in the first half Friday night, as Webb City led 27-0 at halftime en route to a 41-0 victory in Week 3. (The Wildcats defended the run at times better and played better on special teams than during the first game.)
Devrin Weathers put Webb City on the board 3:53 into the game on a 20-yard TD run; Weathers later left the game with an injury, replaced by Sergio Perez.
A second Neosho three-and-out and Henderson scored the first of his three rushing TDs with a 1-yard plunge. Cade Beason and Terrell Kabala set up this score with a 33-yard completion down to the Neosho 15.
A third Neosho three-and-out and then Henderson made it 21-0 6:18 before halftime on a 5-yard run. At that point, Webb City had outgained 172-4.
A fourth Neosho three-and-out and Webb City went up 28-0 on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Beason to Alex Gaskill.
Webb City ran 56 plays to 29 compared for Neosho and the Cardinals devoured 29:17 off the clock. The Cardinals racked up 406 yards of total offense with 258 on the ground on 43 carries and 148 through the air on nine completions.
Neosho managed 87 yards of total offense with 54 through the air all that on Letts TD and 33 yards on the ground.
Neosho finished 0 for 9 on third down, while Webb City converted 7-11 on third down and 2-3 on fourth.
Henderson rushed for 85 yards on 13 carries, Perez 71 yards on 13 carries, and Beason finished with 44 yards on 10 carries. Weathers had 31 yards on three carries before his early departure.
Beason completed 9-13 passes for 148 yards and one score. Gaskill caught three passes for 63 yards and Kabala made two grabs for 58 yards.
Drayke Perry rushed for 18 yards on three carries to lead the Wildcats, Kelley had 10 yards on seven carries, Cade Lyerla added five yards on nine carries, and Donnie Fox finished with a net of no yards on four carries.