November 1, 2009 12:33:00 AM
The East Webster High School football team shut out West Lowndes on Friday night in more ways than one.
Not only did the Wolverines blank the Panthers 24-0, but they also held them without a yard on offense.
The Wolverines (5-6, 1-4 Class 2A, Region 2, District 4) allowed negative-21 yards total offense in a dominating victory that put them in position to earn a playoff victory.
East Webster had to wait until Saturday night to learn it had earned the district''s No. 4 seed thanks to J.Z. George''s 28-0 victory against Hamilton.
The Wolverines, who lost to Hamilton (4-7, 1-4) 12-6 on Oct. 16, earned the tiebreaker on point differential.
West Lowndes completed its season at 5-5 and 1-4.
"It''s so good to go out on a positive note," East Webster coach Jimmy Carden said. "It''s good to see the guys still going out there and working hard and having fun. We''ve had a tough season with some close losses, but the guys played their best tonight and really played well."
West Lowndes, meanwhile, didn''t celebrate Senior Night the way it would have liked.
A victory would have clinched a playoff berth for the Panthers, but the offense never got on track on a muddy field.
"We just laid down tonight, simple as that," West Lowndes coach Bobby Berry said. "They hit us and we didn''t hit them back. They have a tradition of big wins and playoffs and we don''t. They have the mentality and we don''t. That is what we are trying to change."
Berry said the difference was all in his offense. The Panthers failed to move the ball and didn''t gain a first down on offense, moving the chains only once following an East Webster penalty.
West Lowndes fumbled the ball nine times, with eight occurring on poor snaps from center in the shotgun.
"Everything bad tonight was on our own making," Berry said. "Every other snap was poor it seemed, and it just put us in too many long-yardage situations. Bad snaps, fumbles, and penalties put us in a hole we could not get out of."
The Wolverines scored first in the second quarter when junior running back and returner Demetrius O''Briant returned a Jamarquis Humphries punt 55 yards for a touchdown.
O''Briant ran in the two-point conversion to give East Webster an 8-0 lead with 9 minutes, 24 seconds left in the second quarter.
The lead doubled on the ensuing drive when Ledrick Patterson, who completed only two passes, connected with Miguel Graham on a play-action pass for a 34-yard touchdown.
"I thought our offense played their best game this season," Carden said. "On our touchdown pass, we set that up with runs on every play before that. They really loaded the box up and we went with the play fake and they bit. It was a nice play."
The Wolverines didn''t punt in the game, but turned the ball over on downs four times inside the West Lowndes 40.
"I thought our defense played well in spurts," Berry said. "They were on the field too much, though. I think they got a little discouraged with the offense not moving the ball. They got some good stops in the first half keeping us in it, but it wasn''t enough tonight."
Timakis Bell led East Webster with 86 yards on 17 carries, while O''Briant had 70 yards on 14 carries and Patterson had 40 yards on 12 carries. The Wolverines had 205 yards rushing.
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