By TERRY GROOVER
Southwest Covenant continued to show why it is an odds-on favorite to advance to the state playoffs on Friday with a 40-30 win over Strother.
The Patriots controlled the game throughout with a stifling defense that controlled the Yellow-jackets’ tempo and an offense that had little trouble moving the ball.
“I knew it was going to be a battle. Our guys fought back,” said coach Trey Cloud. “They have some big ole boys. They are physical.”
The Yellowjackets took the opening kickoff and worked their way down the field before the Patriots’ defense stepped up at the 15.
On fourth down, quarterback Trenton Wolfe was sacked for a two-yard loss, giving the ball over to the Patriots, who wasted little time finding the end zone.
Patriots’ quarterback Ben Webb found re-ceiver Tyler Kelly for 50 yards and a touchdown to cap a seven-play drive. That put Southwest Covenant up 6-0.
Two plays later, the Patriots were back in the end zone after recovering a fumble at the Yellowjackets’ 18.
Kelly took a pitch from Webb around the left corner to score with 4:27 left in the first quarter.
The point-after-try failed, putting SWC up 12-0.
The Yellowjackets got on the board late in the first half when Wolfe found a receiver on the right side of the field for a 31-yard scoring play.
Wolfe also added a two-yard run for the PAT, to narrow Southwest Covenant’s lead to 12-8.
That, however, would be as close as they would get.
Webb scored from one-yard out with :49 seconds left in the first half to put the Patriots on top 20-8.
Southwest Covenant took the second-half kickoff, and behind Webb’s leadership drove down the field in five plays to score on a Kelly 38-yard run. The PAT failed.
Strother fumbled the ball on the next series, but was able to keep SWC out of the end zone
The Yellowjackets got back on the board with 6:14 left in the third quarter with a 35-yard pass from Wolfe to John Palaclos to narrow the gap to 26-14.
A switch at quarterback gave the Yellow-jackets new life.
Jaxon Douthit came into the game after Wolfe was injured and was able to move the ball down the field with a combination of his passing attack and run game.
But it was the Webb-Tyler connection that controlled the game, including a 55-yard pass that pushed Covenant’s lead to 34-14.
The Patriots’ final score came with 3:52 remaining, when Webb and Tyler connected again on a 17-yard score.
The Patriots’ win was diminished by an on-field injury to sophomore Peter Webb, who was taken by ambulance to the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center.
He passed away on Sunday from his injuries. (See related story, Page 1A)
As a result of Webb’s death, the school has canceled all athletic activities this week, including the Patriots’ homecoming celebration and Friday’s game.
Steve Lessman, the headmaster of the school, said it is likely homecoming will be rescheduled for a later date, though no decision has been made.