Clutch Webb now 1-1

KNOXVILLE — On a night when notable people were recognized in Webb School of Knoxville’s Dave Meske Stadium — especially the late U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Roy C. Krauss, a Gibbs High School graduate among 13 killed in the Thursday, Aug. 26, terrorist raid in Kabul, Afghanistan — the Spartans and GHS Eagles simply battled long and hard.

Webb ended up claiming a 17-14 victory Friday evening, Aug. 27.

Just when the Spartans would bend a little after Gibbs’ elusive quarterback Bryson Palmer would make a play, or the Eagles’ ground game would churn out two straight first downs, Webb defenders Cooper Cameron (21 tackles, 13 solo, one tackle for loss); Joey Bonifacio (18 tackles, 10 solo, one tackle for loss); Leo Bonifacio (14 tackles, 11 solo, and three sacks) or Ari Klasky (11 tackles, eight solo, one tackle for loss) would rise up.

“I thought we made big improvements on defense,” said Spartans head coach Dave Meske, whose team improved to 1-1. “We didn’t stop them all the time, but we stopped them quite a bit of the time, and we had to have that.

“I thought we were very aggressive and I thought we were physical,” he added. “They’re a good football team, and their quarterback is a very talented football player.”

As for his quarterback, “We’re always getting better on offense, and I thought Charlie (Robinson) played a good game,” Meske said. “He had the big run there that put us in a great position.”

Robinson was 12-of-17 passing for 199 yards and touchdown passes of 22 yards to Jalen Hill and 12 yards to Brandon Winton. Markeis Barrett had five receptions for 44 yards, while Garrett Carnathan added three for 88 yards.

The junior quarterback’s late 34-yard run to the GHS 15 helped pin the Eagles in the final minute down 17-14, though Palmer got his team near midfield when Gibbs lost the ball on downs in the final few seconds.

“We stepped up in the end to get the win,” Robinson said. “… Dominic Vance, he started running the ball well; he did a great job.

“We’ve got a lot to improve on, but overall we won the game, and I think that’s what matters in the end,” said Joey Bonifacio, a junior linebacker. “We’ve got a whole season left, and we’ve got to get back to work.”

About being prepared, “Our (assistant) coach, (Kevin) Julian, he was training us all week for this. He was preparing us, and he did a great job,” the linebacker added.

Otto Niendorff, Webb senior kicker, booted a 21-yard field goal in the third quarter.

“It’s was a competitive game against a well-coached football team,” said Gibbs head coach Brad Turner, whose team fell to 1-1. “… Hats off to coach Meske and his staff.”