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Kirkwood's defense dominates in win over Webster Groves

Kirkwood's defense dominates in win over Webster Groves


KIRKWOOD • Quan Miller hopped off the quarterback, looked into the stuffed grandstand and started dabbing.

Kirkwood's 6-foot-4 and 250-pound defensive lineman, Miller and his defensive cohorts did what you're supposed to do on Thanksgiving.

They ate.

And ate.

And ate.

Behind a ferocious defensive front, Kirkwood rolled to a 42-13 win Thursday over rival Webster Groves in the annual Turkey Day Game at Kirkwood's Lyons Stadium. It's the third consecutive year the Pioneers keep the prized Frisco Bell. During this streak Kirkwood has outscored Webster Groves 113-19. Webster Groves leads the all-time series 53-43-5.

Kirkwood (11-2) was credited with six sacks. Miller had two and senior linebacker Luke Lowry had a pair. The Statesmen had 14 plays for a loss, two on bobbled snaps. They fumbled on the first play from scrimmage.

“We get to it. We just attack, attack, attack,” Miller said.

Kirkwood scored the first 28 points and led 28-7 at halftime. Junior quarterback Reece Goddard completed eight of his 15 passes for 115 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Goddard connected with Joseph Jordan, Griffin Harmon and Tahj Telfair for scores.

Senior running back Jerod Alton rushed 15 times for 150 yards and one touchdown. He finished his career as the second-leading rusher in Kirkwood history with 2,657 yards, 29 short of his brother Ramon Alton, who graduated in 2013.

Webster Groves (4-7) got a herculean effort from junior Donovan Daniels. He lined up in the shotgun, slot, returned kicks and played defensive back. Daniels completed two passes to senior tight end Daniel Deadmon for 90 yards. Daniels rushed 21 times for 103 yards.

“We put a lot on his plate. That dude will be too sore to eat. He did what he could,” Webster Groves coach Cliff Ice said. “Daniel Deadmon did a great job.”

Even in defeat, Daniels appreciated the opportunity to play one more game this season with his friends.

“I'm going to miss these seniors,” Daniels said. “It was a fun group of guys and an unforgettable year even if the record doesn't say that.”

Webster Groves sophomore quarterback John Doria hit senior Jerry Yates for a 14-yard touchdown with 12 seconds remaining in the first half. He scrambled for a 16-yard touchdown with 28 seconds to play in the third quarter to cut Kirkwood's lead to 28-13.

That's as close as the Statesmen got. Kirkwood's defense made the play to put the game away. Senior linebacker Ivan Barnett scooped up a Doria fumble and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown with 3 minutes and 30 seconds remaining.

Kirkwood sophomore running back Daron Clay scored with just more than half a minute to go. Moments later, first-year Kirkwood coach Farrell Shelton had a bucket of ice wash across his back.

“It stopped my heart there for a second,” Shelton said with a grin.

Miller was one of the two Pioneers who snuck up to give Shelton a cold bath. Miller and his senior teammates lived up their final Turkey Day. They had a ball.

“I'm going to miss this, the atmosphere the community,” Miller said. “You love the game, you miss it very much.”

Lowry played his last game for the Pioneers. He was happy the Frisco Bell will remain in Kirkwood but knows a significant chapter of his young life is complete. This was the end of football as he knew it.

“There's nothing like this, nothing like high school football. Especially today, this was the biggest game in the state. This was an awesome thing to be a part of,” Lowry said. “There's nothing like Friday night lights. I'm going to miss it forever.”

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