By Gene Phelps
HOLLANDALE – Jack Wilson absorbed some vicious hits in Friday’s MHSAA Class 2A state quarterfinal game against Simmons.
However, East Webster’s quarterback was the one who landed the knockout blow.
The junior threw two second-half touchdown passes – 35 yards to Malcomb Jones and 16 yards to Deangelo Liggins – to lift the Wolverines to a 21-8 road victory and set up a rematch against Division 4 rival Calhoun City in the state semifinals.
“That’s the hardest-hitting team we’ve faced all year,” Wilson said. “Our offensive line did a good job. We ran the ball to set up the pass.”
The TD strike to Jones came off play-action. On the pass to Liggins, Wilson saw a good one-on-one matchup. “He’s a good athlete. I just let him do his work,” Wilson said of Liggins.
East Webster scored on its first possession with the help of three facemask calls against the aggressive Blue Devils. The Wolverines, who made it 7-0 on Draper Nason’s 2-yard run, marched 65 yards in nine plays.
The Wolverines’ defense made two huge stops on downs in the first half – at its 15- and 29-yard lines. The stop at the 15 came with 2:16 left before halftime.
East Webster reached the Simmons 15-yard line late in the second quarter, but turned the ball over on a Wilson fumble.
Simmons caught East Webster in a blitz and scored its touchdown on a 63-yard pass-and-run play late in the game.
Turning Point: East Webster started a 71-yard, 13-play scoring drive late in the third quarter that ended with a TD and a 21-0 lead early in the fourth.
Point Man: East Webster quarterback Jack Wilson was 6 of 11 passing for 2 TDs.
Talking Point: “Simmons was probably one of the most physical teams we’ve played.” – East Webster coach Doug Wilson.
• East Webster lost 44-18 on Oct. 10 at Calhoun City in a Division 4-2A game.
• Calhoun City, the state’s top-ranked 2A team, beat Bruce 28-14 in its state quarterfinal.
• Simmons RB Tokir Winter was held to 55 yards rushing on 16 carries.