MABEN – The East Webster machine just keeps on rolling.
The Wolverines again punished an opponent with the ground game, again played top-notch defense, and again rolled to an easy win, defeating J.Z. George 34-6.
This time, even a sluggish start couldn't slow down East Webster.
The Wolverines (10-0, 4-0 in Region 2-2A) went three-and-out on their first offensive possession of the game, but rebounded quickly to amass 340 yards of total offense, 306 of which came via the rushing attack.
"Our backs started out slow," said East Webster quarterback Ledrick Patterson. "Our line was blocking, but the backs just weren't hitting the hole right. Then, we kind of got happy calling the same play over and over and (J.Z. George) kind of caught on to it and started hitting us in the backfield. But we got settled down and we just did what we do best."
Patterson earned 121 yards of total offense, 87 on the ground and 34 through the air.
Timakis Bell led the team in rushing with his 152 yards.
Patterson took things into his own hands to jumpstart the Wolverines. Midway through the first quarter, on a drive that started in J.Z. George territory, the senior signal caller broke off a 22-yard run that put East Webster in the red zone for the first time. After an offsides penalty against the Jaguars moved the ball to the 5, a Demetrius O'Briant carry put the Wolverines on the board.
When J.Z. George's ensuing drive stalled, East Webster again took over in Jaguars territory and took a 14-0 lead when Bell capped a 47-yard drive with an 8-yard scoring run.
Late in the first quarter, the Jaguars (3-7, 1-3 in Region 2-2A) threatened to get points back when the Wolverines muffed a punt, allowing J.Z. George to set up at the East Webster 19-yard line.
However, it was the Wolverines defense, a unit that had tallied shutouts in three of East Webster's previous four games, that came up strong.
"They've come a long way," said Wolverines head coach Jimmy Carden of the defense. "They've grown up. J.Z. George has some really good weapons, but the defense played well. They played together. We bent a little sometimes, but we stayed away from the breaking."
Damien Britt led the East Webster defense with 10 tackles. O'Briant tallied eight, while Miguel Graham, who also hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Patterson in the fourth quarter, had seven takedowns.
Bolo McCurry, Josh Gladney, and Dillon Dorsey each were credited with a sack.
"We just work hard and get stronger and stronger every week," said McCurry of the defensive side of the ball.
Down 34-0, J.Z. George finally put points on the board late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Rafael Jones broke off a 65-yard scamper against several members of the Wolverines second-team unit.
While Jones' run provided the Jaguars points, it did little to spoil the attitude of an East Webster team who is now just one win away from clinching the region title.
That distinction will be determined next week when the Wolverines host West Lowndes, who lost 30-6 to Eupora on Friday.
"That's a game we've got to win," said Carden. "If we don't, it could end up in a three-way tie (between East Webster, Eupora, and West Lowndes). If that happens, you can go all the way from first to third."
Patterson was at a loss for words when trying to describe the magnitude of next week's contest.
"It's going to be huge, I don't really know what else to say," said Patterson. "We're going to come in Monday, work hard from the start of practice to the end of practice, all through the week. That's all I can say. We've just got to work hard."