Webb City ends Republic’s season in district semifinals

Avery Moody runs behind a block by Connor Sandridge. Moody rushed for 160 yards in his final game.

Tigers can’t top Cardinals, but end season with 6 wins for first time since 2015
The first time Republic traveled to Webb City for a football game early in the season, it was the worst performance of the year for the Tigers. Friday, in the district semifinals, Republic performed much better, but the final score showed how far Republic needs to go to be among the elite teams in the Central Ozark Conference.
Webb City scored the first five touchdowns of the night, making Republic pay for every one of his mistakes, in a 35–7 victory.
"That was a physical game, and the fact of the matter is they were just better than us," said coach Ryan Cornelsen. "If you play long enough, sometimes that happens. We're not going to make excuses. We're going to tip our hat to them and say they beat us."
After being gouged by big plays over and over during the first meeting, Republic's defense mostly avoided that fate during the rematch. Webb City busted one big scoring play on its first drive, but had to work to get the ball in the end zone on its subsequent possessions.
The Tigers were able to move the ball at times against the Webb City defense, but not consistently enough to put the ball in the end zone. Because one long drive stalled out in the red zone and a second ended in a missed field goal, the halftime score was 21-0 instead of 21-10. When Webb City tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter, the lead ballooned to 35-0.
Republic got its only points on a 58-yard run by Avery Moody in the fourth quarter. Moody put together one of his best all-around offensive performances of the season. Moody rushed for 160 yards. He also completed three of six passes for 32 yards.
In total yardage, the teams weren't very far apart. Webb City out-gained Republic 313 yards to 276. Two interceptions by the Webb City defense helped increase the margin of victory. Despite the score in Friday's game, Cornelsen said his team's improvement since then is obvious.
"There was no doubt it was different. I know the score wasn't that much different, but the level of play and the physical play that we played with was drastically better," Cornelsen said. "Sometimes it's hard to see that on the scoreboard, but it's not even comparable, the two teams (from week 3 and week 11)."
Cole Gimlin ran the ball 11 times for 33 yards. Connor Sandridge had eight carries for 18 yards. Gunner Ellison had a 32-yard reception (from Gavyn Beckner) and Dean Marcum caught a pass for 15 yards. Aidan Gregory also had one reception for 11 yards, and Carson Taylor had a six-yard reception.
"I couldn't be prouder of our team and our seniors. They've done everything I've asked. I told them that the most disappointing part is we don't have practice Monday and I don't get to see them at practice again," Cornelsen said.
Republic finishes its season 6-5. It's the first time since 2015 the Tigers finished with six wins in a season.


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