MABEN – After his team was dominated, Eupora head coach Junior Graham had the perfect word to describe East Webster: different.
A different football program gives the defensive coaches the Gatorade bath at the end of a shutout instead of the head coach.
A different football team has their leading rusher be the fullback.
East Webster proved many things Friday night but maybe the most important was different is good.
The fifth-ranked Wolverines (7-0, 1-0 in Region 2) not only took back bragging right in this Webster County rivalry game with a 27-0 blowout of Eupora but sent a message to everybody else in Class 2A, Region 2 that they may be the team to beat for the rest of the 2010 season.
“This win is so huge for us because I’ll tell you our head coach wanted this one so bad,” East Webster quarterback Ledrick Patterson said. “I’m just so happy we were able to get it for him.”
East Webster fullback Timakis Bells ran over and through Eupora (3-3, 0-1) for 163 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Bell, a 240-pound workhouse back, said he prepared for games like this by pulling tires in the offseason.
“I just pictured that tire was like those defenders tonight trying to bring my legs down.” Bell said. “I’m a stronger and better runner because of that no question.”
The Wolverines offense, which accounted for 244 yards of total offense, was able to walk straight through the Eupora defense with consistent inside trap handoff plays to Bell.
“We blocked a little better up the middle but sometimes with him it may not matter,” East Webster head coach Jimmy Carden said. “He seemingly broke five or six tackles on several runs tonight.”
After fumbling their first offensive snap back to Eupora, East Webster took the next possession 68 yards on just eight plays ending with a 3-yard touchdown plunge by Bell to get the home crowd into the contest early.
East Webster, who lost this rivalry game last season 28-0, made it a 14-0 deficit after a 1-yard Eupora punt gave them excellent field position.
With the ball placed on the 10-yard line on second-and-goal, Patterson perfectly ran a play-action pass for a touchdown strike to senior receiver Josh Gladney. Patterson ended the night with two of his five completions for the night going for scores.
Going into the halftime locker room, Eupora actually had more total yards but three turnovers led to a 14-point deficit after the first 24 minutes of play.
“We knew coming in that we had to contain the big play for them and not turn the ball over,” Graham said. “We did neither of those things and so this is kind of game that happens.”
Once they got a lead, East Webster’s defense created havoc for Eupora quarterback Jamal Roby as the sophomore finished 6-for-15 for only 39 yards and threw two interceptions straight into the hands of Wolverines senior defensive back Miguel Graham.
“It’s always big to get the shutout and I told the kids on defense somebody was going to have to play like Ray Lewis in this one,” Carden said. “I think we had about six Ray Lewis’ out there tonight.”
East Webster’s first drive of the second half ended all hope for an Eagles comeback as Patterson ended a 65-yard drive by rolling to his right and finding sophomore tight end Damien Britt for a 11-yard touchdown.
“We practice that play every day but it seems like every time I overthrow him,” Patterson said. “This is the one time I hit him in the hands with the pass.”
Eupora’s offensive effort, which would end the contest with five turnovers, was led by senior tailback DeShawn Starks’ 105 yards on 20 carries.
East Webster will look to make it eight straight victories in 2010 when they travel to Ackerman while Eupora tries to get its first region victory as they return home against Hamilton.