The East Webster football team is rolling into its first-round playoff matchup with Potts Camp.
The Wolverines enter the MHSAA Class 2A playoffs with a 9-1 record, with their only loss coming to division champion Calhoun City on Oct. 4. Since then, East Webster has won three straight by a combined score of 117-18, and shut out Bruce 31-0 in the regular season finale last week.
“The most consistent part of our team all season has the been our defense,” East Webster coach Ron Price said. “They’ve been steady from Week 1 to now, and those guys have really bought in and created plays for us all year.”
On the season, the Wolverines’ defense has allowed only 14 points per game, with 23 sacks and 11 interceptions. In the 3-4, blitz-heavy defense, linebacker Kobe Smith has excelled with his team-high 79 tackles and 10.5 sacks.
That defense will be tested against Potts Camp (5-5) and an offense that averages 22 points per game. The Cardinals are led by quarterback Joshua Blake, who has totaled 1,333 offensive yards and 14 touchdowns.
His favorite target, 6-foot-5 Ryan Baldwin, has 10 catches for 217 yards and four touchdowns and can cause serious mismatches in the secondary.
“They get into a lot of different formations, and that’s going to be the challenge that our team is going to have to be focused on in practice this week,” Price said. “We have to make sure we get lined up correctly. They’re really athletic at the skill positions, so hopefully we can prepare well this week.”
For East Webster’s offense, the success begins with a big offensive line.
Behind Hastings Gibson (210 pounds), Preston Hill (250), Cohen Clark (295), Kaleb Parish (230) and Caleb Massey (260), the Wolverines average 261 rushing yards and 34 points per game.
Those five pave the way for quarterback Steven Betts and running back Tyrik Pittman in the backfield. Betts has rushed for 1,448 yards and 16 touchdowns, while Pittman has rushed for 768 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“Going into the season, one thing we wanted to do going into the season was be physical on the offensive line,” Price said. “Week by week, our guys have taken more steps in that direction. Steven and Tyrik have really benefited from those guys up front opening up holes for them.”