Cardinals make history, win fifth consecutive State Title

Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
February 24, 2015



Winning a State Championship is one thing in high school football. Winning consecutive titles is another.


Matching a feat that had been done only once before by winning five in a row is in another stratosphere.


That’s exactly what Webb City High School did this past season, winning their fifth consecutive State Championship in Missouri’s Class 4. Their 5th straight title matched Valle Catholic as the only team’s in Missouri’s history to win five state titles in a row.


The Cardinals have now won 28 consecutive games dating back to last year and head coach John Roderique now has a combined 222-19 record in 18 years at the helm of Webb City. His 92% winning percentage ranks him as winningest coach in Missouri high school football history by percentage.


Webb City has now qualified for the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons and under Roderique, the Cardinals have won 10 of the school’s 13 state titles. They have won 18 straight MHSAA playoff games to date.


In 2014, the Cardinals seemed to be a team on a mission to capture the school’s 13th championship, shutting out Missouri Class 5’s Carthage in the season opener, 21-0.


The 21-point victory over the Tigers would remain as the slimmest margin of victory through the entire season as the Cardinals would continually perform well on offense, defense and special teams.


Looking even more impressive in their week two matchup, Webb City traveled to face Class 6 opponent – Rockhurst. Led by quarterback and Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, T.J. Green, the Hawklets would advance to the Class 6 State Championship game in 2014, despite being handed a loss at the hands of the Cardinals, 40-14, for Rockhurst’s lone blemish of the regular season. The Hawklets would lose the Class 6 State Championship to Christian Brothers College, 31-24, for only their second loss of the season.


The state of Arkansas’ highest classified division sent perennial contender Har-Ber to take on Webb City in a week three matchup. The Cardinals were unfazed by the Arkansas power, dismantling the Wildcats, 42-13.


After defeating Class 5’s Republic, 49-14, Webb City took on its fourth team from a higher class when they hosted Missouri Class 5 Nixa. The Cardinals impressed not only offensively, but defensively, holding the Eagles to just 140 yards and holding them off the scoreboard until the waning stages of the fourth quarter in their 47-7 victory.  


Like Rockhurst, Nixa would advance to their respective State Championship game, but fall short, 25-22 to Battle High School.


Webb City would finish the regular season with victories over Willard (46-15), Neosho (48-0), Ozark (38-7) and Branson (42-5) before entering the MHSAA Playoffs at 9-0.


The Cardinals opened up the postseason with a bang, scoring the most points of the season, a total of 71 in their 71-0 shutout victory over McDonald County. Maquel Harbin and Trent Parra each returned an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Mustangs as defensive points would be a continued trait in the playoffs.


In the second round matchup against Bolivar for Webb City, Harbin would also record a ‘pick-six’, this time in the second quarter of the 56-7 blowout over the Liberators.


Webb City would jump out to a 35-0 lead over Carl Junction before trouncing the Bulldogs, 42-12 to advance to the quarterfinals. Against Harrisonville in the state quarters, Drake Humphrey secured a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Cardinals 35-0 victory.


In the state semifinals, the Cardinals faced off against the high-powered offense of Kearney. The Wildcats averaged 33.6 points per game in 2014 but were held to a mere seven points in their 38-7 ousting at the hands of Webb City.


With their victory over Kearney in the semifinals, the Cardinals advanced to their 15th state championship game appearance in school history, hunting for their fifth consecutive title.



Equally impressive as that feat, the Cardinals defense had single-handedly outscored their first five opponents of the postseason, 30-26, recording five defensive touchdowns in the five games, including three against McDonald County.


In the Missouri Class 4 State Championship ‘Show Me Bowl,’ Webb City would square off against Central High School from Cape Girardeau. The Tigers would be playing in the school’s first ever state championship appearance.


It however, wouldn’t look like their first ever appearance on the big stage in the first quarter as Central jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Quarterback Peyton Montgomery rushed for two quick scores as Webb City couldn’t muster a sustained drive in the opening 12 minutes.


That all would change however as the Cardinals, led by their own quarterback Tyson Roderique, would score four quick times in the second quarter en route to a 27-14 halftime lead.

Roderique punched in two short touchdown rushes of his own before running back Keaton Burroughs scored from 1-yard out with 0:35 seconds remaining, to give Webb City a 21-14 lead.


With just 0:18 seconds remaining Central's Montgomery would be intercepted by Harbin as he tried to force a pass. Roderique would hit all-around athlete Kiante Hardin for 30 yards on the very next play to seemingly steal the remaining momentum and take a two-possession lead into the break.


The Tigers would get no closer than that in the second half, allowing Hardin to rush for a score from 15 yards out. Central would score one last time on a 38-yard pass from Montgomery to Jalen Reddin before Webb City would add two insurance touchdowns in the fourth quarter.


The 48-21 final would cap a perfect season for the Cardinals and their fifth consecutive state title.



The Cardinals, despite losing several seniors from 2014, including Hardin who will attend Minnesota next fall to play for former Webb City head coach Jerry Kill, will return their quarterback in Roderique. With a returning signal-caller and the state's all time winningest head coach in terms of percentage, there is no doubt the Cardinals will be ready when the fall season starts. 


Webb City will look to become the first ever team in Missouri high school football history to win six consecutive state titles as they will enter the 2015 fall season as arguably the state’s No. 1 team.


Offensive stat leaders

Rushing: Tyler Davison (1247 yards)

Passing: Tyson Roderique (1110 yards)

Receiving: Kiante Hardin (678 yards)

All-Purpose: Kiante Hardin (1290 yards)

Touchdowns: Keaton Burroughs (20)

Rush attempts: Tyler Davison (150 carries)

Receptions: Kiante Hardin (33 catches)


Defensive stat leaders

Total tackles: Kolesen Crane (54)

Tackles for loss: Kolesen Crane (12.5)

Sacks: Austin Carter (5)

Interceptions: Maquel Harbin (6)

Pass break ups: Kiante Hardin (13)

Fumbles forced: Drake Humphrey (3)

Fumbles recovered: Tyson Roderique (4)


Team statistics

Total scoring: 663 points

Opponent scoring: 122

Total offense: 5868 yards

Total rushing yards: 4663 yards

Total passing yards: 1205 yards

Opponent offense: 2559 yards

Opponent rushing yards: 1443 yards

Opponent passing yards: 1116 yards

Third down conversions: 49.7% (71/143)

Opponent third down conversions: 24.9% (45/181)

Turnover differential: +19 (19 interceptions, 18 fumbles)

Booneville High School wins third State Championship in school history


By: Cameron Mellor
April 21, 2014



Booneville High School opened their last season in Arkansas' 4A Conference with arguable their most anticipated game of the season - a game against arch rival Ozark Hillbillies. The Bearcats (15-0) not only dismantled their rivals, but their victory over Ozark spurned what would turn in to the school's first undefeated regular and postseason, en route to the school's third State Championship.
Winless against their rivals in the past two season (0-3), Booneville would seek to exact revenge on Ozark for knocking them out of the playoffs a season prior. The Bearcats not only did that, but successfully kicked off their 2013 with a bang, making this season one that will not soon be forgotten. 
We will start our Booneville season in review with that game and move all the way through to their state championship appearance against Warren High School. 
September 6, 2013                      Booneville: 49
Ozark, Ark.                                   Ozark: 14

The Ozark Hillbillies and Booneville Bearcats share quite a history. A history and a tradition that is surely not to be forgotten once Booneville moves down to Arkansas 3A Conference in 2014. The two have played annually for years, something that has continued since Booneville moved out of Ozark’s region four years ago.


While the two will continue to play annually for the foreseeable future, 2013’s game will remain in the memory of all Booneville players, fans and friends alike as BHS topped OHS, 49-14.


For the full recap, click here: Game 1 vs. Ozark


September 13, 2013                       Booneville: 41
Booneville, Ark.                             Gravette: 24

In the second game of the season, Booneville faced Gravette High School in a nonconference matchup. The Bearcats scored on the Lions early and often, en route to a 41-24 victory. all 41 points scored in the first half.


Bryson May would get the scoring onslaught started early, rushing his first touchdown of the game in from five yards out. Matt Berry and Josh Smith would join him on consecutive drives, knocking the lead up to 20-0 on the first play of the second quarter.


For the full recap, click here: Game 2 vs. Gravette


September 20, 2013                      Booneville: 21
Booneville, Ark.                            Star City: 7

Week three would be a much different story than the previous two weeks for Booneville as the Bearcats hosted the visiting Bulldogs from Star City, whom they had lost to a season ago.


Avenging two losses from last season already after defeating Ozark in week one, the Bearcats successfully exacted revenge against another opponent, downing Star City 21-7 behind an impressive defensive and offensive first half.


For the full recap, click here: Game 3 vs. Star City


September 27, 2013                     Booneville: 35
Booneville, Ark.                           Waldron: 7

The Booneville Bearcats played their first conference game against the season on their home field, hosting the Waldron Bulldogs. Much like their previous two games, the Bearcats proved to be too much, handling Waldron 35-7 to open conference play.


Waldron would win the coin toss to start the game, but their luck would stop there. The Bulldogs elected to kickoff to Booneville, a decision that Matt Berry would make them pay for.


For the full recap, click here: Game 4 vs. Waldron


October 4, 2013                         Booneville: 48
Subiaco, Ark.                             Subiaco Academy: 20

When the Booneville Bearcats took the field against Subiaco Academy in 2013, they might have thought they could score easily and come away victorious. Little did they know however, was just how they would score those points and the history they would make in their 48-20 victory.


Subiaco Academy (Subi), much like the Bearcats previous opponent – Waldron, would win the toss to start the game. And much like Waldron, the coin flip would be where there luck would end.


For the full recap, click here: Game 5 vs. Subiaco Academy


October 11, 2013                       Booneville: 42
Booneville, Ark.                        Dardanelle: 0

In what would turn out to be another lopsided affair, Booneville’s game against Dardanelle in week six did not lack in drama in the days leading up to the game. After learning that starting quarterback Cody Harrel would be suspended for the game due to a violation of rules, the Bearcats were forced to put tailback/linebacker James Ray under center for the entirety of the game.


Booneville would lean heavily upon their running backs, but Ray’s debut at quarterback would be a good one as the Bearcats left the game victorious 42-0 over the Sandlizards. All of Booneville’s points were scored in the first half, as they continued their fast start to the season.


For the full recap, click here: Game 6 vs. Dardanelle


October 18, 2013                        Booneville: 49
Mena, Ark.                                  Mena: 28

After their most recent triumph, Booneville improved their streak to six straight victories over conference opponents. The Bearcats faced their lone conference blemish from 2012 in their week seven matchup against Mena High School.


In their 2012 matchup, Booneville had a similar streak (eight straight conference victories) snapped at the hands of Mena. 2013 was a different story for the Bearcats, who for a third time this season, exacted revenge on an opponent who had broken their hearts a year before.


Mena was never in the game against Booneville as they found themselves down 42-12 at halftime before eventually dropping the game, 49-28.


For the full recap, click here: Game 7 vs. Mena


October 25, 2013                        Booneville: 35
Booneville, Ark.                         Dover: 0

Week eight would pit Booneville with an overmatched Dover team who had never beaten the Bearcats before. That streak would continue as Booneville laid it on early and often against the Pirates en route to a 35-0 victory.


The Bearcats were paced by running back Matt Berry who notched three scores in the game, all of which took place in Booneville’s 28-point second quarter.


For the full recap, click here: Game 8 vs. Dover


November 1, 2013                      Booneville: 35
Pottsville, Ark.                            Pottsville: 7

Booneville’s first of two straight away games saw the Bearcats travel to Pottsville for a matchup against Central Arkansas commit, quarterback Michael Perry and the Apaches.


During the teams’ 2011 matchup, Perry ran for 303 yards en route to a 49-21 defeat of the Bearcats. 2013 would be much different however as Booneville would limit the highly regarded athlete to negative yards on the ground on the way to a 35-7 victory.


For the full recap, click here: Game 9 vs. Pottsville


November 8, 2013                     Booneville: 47
Maumelle, Ark.                          Maumelle: 17

The regular season finale for Booneville would pit two teams undefeated in conference play against one another as the Bearcats would be on the road for the second consecutive week, this time traveling to Maumelle High School.


While some of Booneville’s final scores may not be indicative of just how close or how out-of-hand the games might have been, that is no truer than in the game against the Hornets. The Bearcats would win the game by a comfortable 47-17 margin only after an impressive 19-point fourth quarter.


For the full recap, click here: Game 10 vs. Maumelle


November 15, 2013                    Booneville: 42
Booneville, Ark.                         Clinton: 13

The opening round of the playoffs would end as quickly as it began for Clinton High School as for the sixth time this season, Booneville would score 28 points in one quarter, this time in the first against the Yellowjackets en route to a 42-13 victory in the opening round of the 4A Arkansas Boys State Playoffs.


Booneville sent shockwaves through the playoffs in their dismantling of Clinton, outdoing their previous season-high in rushing yards, totaling 434 yards when the final whistle blew. Led by quarterback Cody Harrel, the Bearcats would score quickly against the Yellowjackets as three of their rushing touchdowns came from 58 yards or more.


For the full recap, click here: Game 11 vs. Clinton



December 20, 2013                     Booneville: 38
Booneville, Ark.                          Hamburg: 14

In the second round of the 4A Arkansas Boys State Playoffs, Booneville High School entered the game winners of 11 consecutive contests. The Bearcats hosted the Hamburg Lions who had defeated Mena in their first round playoff game.


The Lions would share the same feeling as the previous 11 opponents facing Booneville as their season was cut short after a 35-14 defeat.


For the full recap, click here: Game 12 vs. Hamburg


November 29, 2013                   Booneville: 35
Booneville, Ark.                        Lincoln: 0

The Booneville-Lincoln quarterfinal matchup in the 4A Arkansas Boys State Playoffs is arguably one that no one would have predicted. While many might have had no trouble putting the Bearcats in the quarterfinals, there is no doubting that not everyone would feel the same way about Lincoln High School.


While Booneville is a team with rich tradition, both in the regular and post seasons, the Lincoln Wolves were new to postseason victories. 2013 marked the first time in school history that Lincoln had won a playoff game when they defeated Nashville in the opening round.


They continued their new found playoff success the next week against Malvern, topping the Leopards 41-21. However, Lincoln’s success would come to an abrupt end when they faced off against 12-0 Booneville in the quarterfinals.


The Bearcats knocked off Lincoln 35-0 to advance to the semifinals.


For the full recap, click here: Game 13 vs. Lincoln



December 13, 2013                                    Booneville: 43
Pine Bluff Stadium, Pine Bluff, Ark.          Dollarway: 14

In one of the 4A Arkansas State Boy Playoffs, fans were treated to a matchup of undefeated teams as both Booneville and Dollarway entered the game at 13-0 on the season.


In a heavily anticipated game, Booneville would ultimately prove to be too much for the Cardinals, trouncing their opponents 43-14.


For the full recap, click here: Game 14 vs. Dollarway


December 13, 2013                                               Booneville: 14
War Memorial Stadium, Little Rock, Ark.            Warren: 12

Instant Classic.


A Game for the Ages.


Whatever adage you can come up with for an intense, hard fought state championship game against two powerhouse schools, it is sure to apply to the 4A Arkansas State Boys Playoffs Championship game between Booneville High School and Warren High School.


Booneville would emerge victorious over Warren, 14-12 in arguably the most intense and most exciting games of the season for Bearcat and Lumberjack players, fans and friends alike.


For the full recap, click here: Game 15 vs. Warren




All photos courtesy of Glenn Parrish
Graphics done by Cameron Mellor