KNOXVILLE — Webb School of Knoxville running back Elijah Bane scored a pair of touchdowns for the Spartans Friday night, Sept. 13
But those seemed a bit insignificant after he and his teammates dropped a 28-21 decision to David Crockett in front of a packed and spirited house at David Meske Stadium.
All that appeared to matter was a late fumble while the Spartans were driving for a potential game-tying touchdown.
“If we eliminate our mistakes, we’ll win the rest of our games,” said Bane, as Webb (1-3) played from behind all night. “I have to eliminate my mistakes. We have to correct our mistakes and we still have time to win our region.”
Webb had a chance to score a game-tying touchdown inside the final two minutes of the contest after stopping the Pioneers on fourth down at the Spartans’ 23-yard line. But the fumble thwarted the comeback effort.
But that wasn’t the only miscue of the night for Webb, which fell behind 14-0 early in the second quarter. The Spartans engineered a long drive that began midway through the second quarter at the Crockett 42-yard line. The home team drove 40 yards only to fumble with 30 seconds remaining in the first half.
It was the third consecutive loss for the Spartans after beating Austin-East 3-0 in their season opener last month at home.
It was the second straight 28-21 loss for the Spartans, also dropping their league opener to Boyd Buchanan Sept. 6.
“Last week (against Boyd Buchanan), I thought we played poor football,” Webb head coach Dave Meske said. “This week I thought we played pretty good football.
“We turned the ball over a couple of times and they hit us with a few big plays. But I’m happy with our effort,” he added. “These kids aren’t going to give up. That’s not the way that they’re brought up in this program. That’s not the way that they’re raised. If we play with the effort that we played with tonight and we eliminate the mistakes, we’ll win some ballgames.”
The Pioneers, who kept their perfect record intact and improved to 3-0 with this victory, sputtered a bit out of the gate. After Webb picked up a first down on its opening drive, the Spartans defense all but stifled the highly potent David Crockett passing attack as the Pioneers went three-and-out on their first possession.
But David Crockett didn’t stay at bay for long.
The Pioneers turned a Webb miscue, an interception, into points on a 9-yard touchdown pass. A 39-yard scoring strike made it 14-0 with 10 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The Spartans got on the board on Bane’s 1-yard touchdown plunge with 8:11 left in the half.
After the Spartans were turned away before halftime, Crockett hit Webb with a big play early in the third frame when Cade Larkins lofted a 59-yard pass to Donta Hackler. That play would set up the quarterback’s third touchdown toss, a 19-yarder to Prince Kolley to make it 21-7 with 10:48 to go in the period.
Webb moved the ball well in the second half but scored only twice. Bane’s second touchdown, a 6-yard run, made it 21-14 with 17 seconds remaining in the third frame.
After the Pioneers went up 28-14, Webb quarterback Joseph Moore threw a 45-yard scoring strike to Jackson Baker with 8:24 left in the game.
“I thought we moved the ball well and we moved it better in the second half,” Meske said. “We had a couple of long Wing-T drives.”