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5th Straight Turkey Day Win For Pioneers

Kirkwood takes home Frisco Bell after 35-7 victory over Webster

The Kirkwood Pioneer football team takes the Frisco Bell into Kirkwood High School following their 35-7 victory over Webster Groves in the annual Turkey Day game. Leading the way with the flag is Tyriek Lewis. photo by Diana Linsley. (click for larger version)

December 01, 2017
Senior Jack Kavanaugh, Kirkwood High School's starting offensive and defensive tackle, speaks for his teammates in their approach to playing Webster Groves High School in the annual Turkey Day football game.

"Knowing that we play against those guys just down the street, it means a lot every single year and it is something you look forward to," Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh and his fellow seniors helped Kirkwood win its school-record fifth straight Turkey Day game, 35-7, on Nov. 23 at Lyons Stadium. Kirkwood won its fifth straight for the first time while Webster Groves has done the feat three times. Webster Groves leads the series with a 54-48-7 record.

During the seniors' four years, Kirkwood (9-2) won the 2016 Class 6 state championship, made two Class 6 state semifinal appearances in 2014 and 2015 and won all four Turkey Day games. The last two senior classes went 4-0 against Webster Groves (5-5).

Kirkwood fans cheer on the Pioneers. photo by Diana Linsley. (click for larger version)

Keeping the Frisco Bell was motivation enough.

"Winning state is one of the greatest feelings in the world, but it doesn't happen every year and we understand that," Kavanaugh said. "Just to know we (the senior class) never lost a Turkey Day and even though we didn't go as far as last year in the (state) playoffs, we ended it on a great note. This class never gave it up and never fell short of what really matters, which is Kirkwood winning Turkey Day in this community."

Farrell Shelton, Kirkwood's third-year coach, is 33-5 in that span.

"I'm very happy to send our seniors out with a win. They're going to leave a legacy," Shelton said.

"It feels great to be part of history," Kirkwood junior quarterback/defensive back Cooper Wise said. "I really wanted to win for the seniors. It's a nice note to send them out like this."

Pioneers Cornell Young IV (with the ball) and Daron Clay. photo by Diana Linsley. (click for larger version)

Senior running back/linebacker Daron Clay said there was pressure to keep the winning streak intact.

"There was pressure in the beginning," Clay said. "We just came out and did our jobs. It's the greatest feeling to play my last game with my brothers."

Quarterback Wise rushed for two touchdowns on runs of 13 and 23 yards while passing for another to junior wide receiver Micah Makuta for 15 yards. Defensively, he provided two tackles, including one hard hit tackle on a Statesman player.

Wise completed 12 of 15 passes for 147 yards, one touchdown and tossed two interceptions. He gained 80 yards on 17 attempts. Kirkwood totaled 330 yards (183 rushing, 147 passing).

"He's pretty special," Shelton said. "He's just a solid young man. That's what this day is all about. He likes to run the ball more than he throws it. That's okay."

Statesman Enrique Quinones (with the ball) faces Pioneer Arvell Ferguson Jr. photo by Diana Linsley. (click for larger version)

Webster Groves Coach Cliff Ice had only good things to say about Wise.

"I'm a huge fan of the spread offense and dual threat quarterbacks," Ice said. "It's hard to set up for one aspect and we couldn't handle two. They looked for an edge and they took it. There wasn't anything we could do about it. He will be back. We'll see what happens."

Kavanaugh said he enjoyed blocking for Wise.

Sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Jairus Maclin returned a punt for a 56-yard touchdown, ran in a two-point conversion and caught four passes for 55 yards. Daron Clay added 100 yards on 19 carries and a 21-yard touchdown run on offense and seven tackles and one fumble recovery. Senior placekicker Nick Williams converted his final three extra points. Junior defensive end Arvell Ferguson Jr. was disruptive on defense with four tackles, two for losses and one quarterback sack.

Webster's Defense

Pioneer #2 Jairus Maclin tries to hold off Statesman Anthony Brown. Also pictured, from left: Temitayo Sobamowo, Armon Tindle and Myson Pace (on the ground). photo by Diana Linsley. (click for larger version)

Though the final score may not indicate it, Webster Groves' defense helped keep the game close for awhile. Kirkwood led 14-0 at halftime, 21-0 through three quarters and 35-0 before Webster Groves scored a 36-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Enrique Quinones to sophomore speedy wide receiver Jacobie Banks in the final 85 seconds of the game.

Webster Groves recorded four turnovers — interceptions from senior defensive back Ethan Cooley and freshman linebacker Greg Graham and fumble recoveries from senior defensive tackle Temitayo Sobamowo and senior defensive back Emmanuel Young. Senior defensive end Anthony Brown had a team-high 16 tackles in his final high school game.

Offensively, Webster Groves totaled 167 yards (97 passing, 70 rushing).

"I thought we played well on defense for as long as we could," Ice said. "We didn't get any help on offense. We just couldn't get any offense going."

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