Red Wolves howl after homecoming upset of Oxford Webb
When the final buzzer sounded, Cedar Ridge players burst jubilantly into the student seating section and were greeted enthusiastically by grinning classmates with eager high-fives and hugs.
It wasn’t a bowl victory, but for the Red Wolves, getting the monkey of a winless season off their backs with a narrow 24-17 win over Oxford-Webb Friday night — on homecoming weekend, no less — was cause for unbridled celebration.
“Gosh, yes sir, yes sir. This was a big one for us,” sophomore quarterback Peyton Pappas said of the relief in finally landing in the win column. “It just felt good to stay in the lead and keep fighting.”
Pappas completed 10 of 15 passes for 140 yards and fired a pair of touchdown passes, but was quick to spread the credit.
“I’ve got to give it up to my teammates. They were making plays at receiver. They were getting us the calls and we were just making the plays,” he said. “That deep route, it was there, and they kept giving it to us and we made some good catches.”
Teammate Julius Walton, a 5-7, 155-pound junior running back, ground out 102 yards to bring a dangerous balance to the Red Wolves offense.
On the other side of the ball, Webb had a one-man wrecking crew in 5-10, 235-pound senior running back Tobiah Lewis, who smashed through the Cedar Ridge defense for 183 yards.
The stout Webb runner carried the ball 33 times, rolling over Red Wolf defenders like a bowling ball knocking down pins, and carrying several others at a time for extra yards as they attempted with varying degrees of success to gang tackle him.
The Warriors caught a bad break when starting senior quarterback Beau Smith left the game due to an injury after the first half. He was 6 of 10 passing for 78 yards, with five completions going for 13 to 19 yards each.
The younger Pappas said there is “a little pressure” on him as a sophomore signal caller, but “I know I have seniors in front of me on the line and they definitely keep all the pressure off me.”
Cedar Ridge coach Chris Casey was understandably pleased with the win and believes a pre-game pep session played a role.
“We said, ‘We’re looking at our next four games. Our seniors, do you want to leave a legacy?’ They’re good kids and they’ve been working hard,” said Casey, who is shooting to finish the season 3-1, perhaps 4-0.
“We’ve been so close in so many games but we shot ourselves in the foot. And we’ve had a tough stretch. We played Northwood, we played Cardinal Gibbons, Orange, three tough teams, and I think mentally we got a little beaten down,” he said.
“So we went back and we watched film of the things we did well early in the season and said, ‘You’ve got to go back to having fun, you’ve got to go back to playing hard, you’ve got to go back to believing in yourselves,’” Casey said. “And tonight we came out with a different attitude, a different mentality. We played well. When things didn’t go our way we didn’t give up. We just kept playing.”
CEDAR RIDGE 24, WEBB 17
Webb |7 |3 |0 |7 — 17
Cedar Ridge |7 |7 |0 |10 — 24
Webb — Tobiah Lewis 11 run (William Gillespie kick) 6:51
CR — Julius Walton 5 run (Brandon Phares kick) 5:03
Webb—FG 20 Gillespie, 10:56
CR — Marquez Hunter 30 pass from Pappas (Phares kick) 9:27,
CR — Chris McKoy 7 pass from Pappas (Phares kick) 9:44
Webb—Lewis 14 run (Gillespie kick) 7:18
CR — FB 24 Phares, 4:15
RUSHING — Webb, Tobiah Lewis 33-183, Rakym Winstead 2-27, Tevin Evans 1-8. Cedar Ridge, Julius Walton 20-102, Peyton Pappas 10-44, Marquez Hunter 2-17.
PASSING — Webb, Beau Smith 6-10-0 78, Michael Phillips 2-9-0 17. Cedar Ridge, Peyton Pappas 10-15-0 140.
RECEIVING — Webb, Deshay Holifield 3-33, Nykwanza Henderson 2-30, Rakym Winstead 1-14, Deshawn Lewis 1-13, Marcus Norwood 1-5. Cedar Ridge, Marquez Hunter 4-63, Chris McKoy 2-56, Julius Walton 1-17, Matt Murty 3-4.
Records — Webb 2-6, 0-4 Big Eight 3-A; Cedar Ridge 1-7, 1-3 Big Eight 3-A.