WEBSTER GROVES — Kevin Jones never doubted Cole Schnettgoeke's hands, but he was going to back him up just in case.
“I have his back no matter what,” Jones said Friday night.
Webster Groves senior quarterback Enrique Quinones fired the ball at Schnettgoecke only to see it go through his hands. Jones grabbed the tipped ball out of the air in the end zone with six seconds to play to lift Webster Groves to a thrilling 37-35 win over Lindbergh at Moss Field.
Webster Groves (4-3) rallied for the victory only after overcoming a mess of its own making. The Statesmen had to convert on fourth-and-20 at their own 35.
Quinones found senior Jerqon Conners across the middle for a 26-yard pick up to keep the chains moving.
“When the ball was thrown to me I had to make a play,” Conners said.
Lindbergh (4-3) nearly came up with an interception on the ensuing second down. Quinones missed on his next two passes, but a defensive holding penalty kept the drive alive.
Conners hauled in a 12-yard strike to put the Statesmen on the Lindbergh 3-yard-line with 11 seconds to play.
The next pass headed toward Schnettgoecke only to wind up in Jones' waiting hands for a score that set off a wild celebration. The explosion of expression spilled onto the field and cost the Statesmen 15 yards on their extra point kick which was subsequently blocked.
But it didn't matter – Webster Groves had rallied from the dead twice to win its fourth consecutive game.
“It was rough, but I come from rough,” Jones said. “We stuck through it. It's all we can do.”
Jones played the hero in the end, but senior receiver Jacobie Banks wore the cape most of the night. A dynamic presence in the open field, Banks caught eight passes for 244 yards and scored two touchdowns. He turned a short screen pass into an 84-yard score when he zipped through the Flyers defense. He caught a nice pass down the left side line, made two cut back moves, and was off to the races on his other touchdown.
“It was Russian roulette every play. We had to take some gambles and chances on defense to try and stop him,” Lindbergh coach Nathan Norman said. “At any point we knew they had the speed to take it to the house and unfortunately they did a couple times.”
Quinones completed 15 of 33 passes for 331 yards, three touchdowns and was intercepted twice. Jones caught three passes for 61 yards including an incredible one-handed grab behind the back of the Lindbergh defender, who was flagged for interfering with him.
“I've been practicing that for years and years,” Jones said. “I'm glad I got to pull it off in a game.”
Senior running back Kameron Yancey rushed for two short touchdowns before he had to come out of the game with an injury in the second half.
Webster's stunning win was a shocking loss for Lindbergh. The Flyers showcased their full offensive abilities against the Statesmen. Lindbergh's first drive was a power rushing clinic as it pounded the ball up the middle of Webster's defense with senior running back Bobby Tessler. The big bruiser scored a 5-yard touchdown to give the Flyers a 7-0 lead with 6 minutes and 23 seconds to play in the first.
Tessler rushed 17 times for 86 yards and scored twice. Junior running back Logan Kopp rushed for 81 yards and caught five passes for 107 yards. He scored on a 19-yard pass where he dragged several defenders with him into the end zone.
Lindbergh senior quarterback Logan Marchand completed 10 of 20 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns and was intercepted twice. Sophomore running back Adam Dupont bounced off several defenders to rush for a 16-yard score that put the Flyers ahead 35-31 with 3:15 to play and set the stage for the dramatic finish.
“Hats off to Webster,” Norman said. “Webster made one more play than Lindbergh tonight and that was the difference.”