With 430 yards rushing,Webb dominates Grace Christian

KNOXVILLE — Webb School of Knoxville used its formula for success to notch a big region victory on the gridiron. Spartans head coach David Meske believes his Wing-T offense works better with multiple running backs.

And on Friday night, Sept. 15, this proved to be the case as Webb rushed for 430 yards in a 48-27 Division II-AA East Region victory over Grace Christian Academy at David Meske Stadium.

“We have four great running backs and they all scored a touchdown tonight,” Meske said. “We’re better when we have more running backs.”

Morgan Ernst led Webb [2-2 overall, 1-0 in the region] as he amassed 181 yards and scored three touchdowns.

However, the senior fullback, who also doubles as a linebacker, would get plenty of help from a potent supporting cast. Freshman Elijah Howard, a starter as an eighth-grader for the Spartans in 2016, rushed for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He averaged 10 yards per carry.

Jahlil Jefferson, a junior, had 96 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Roderick Lewis also scored on a late 58-yard touchdown scamper.

Furthermore, all four backs played on defense. Jefferson and Lewis both had interceptions against the Rams (1-3, 1-1), Ernst was a force on many big tackles and he said that he loves playing on both sides of the ball.

Meske noted that Ernst is one of the more physical players that he’s coached in more than three decades at Webb.

“He’s one tough man,” Meske said. “He’s one of the toughest players that I’ve ever coached.”

Ernst might have been the biggest star on a night when the Spartans’ rushing attack truly sparkled, but early on it was the Rams that had the upper hand.

Grace led 13-7 in the first quarter before Webb responded.

“We didn’t panic,” Meske said. “They did some good things and we did some good things. They have some really good players.

“Rusty [Bradley, GCA head coach] does a good job with things on their offense.”