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Statesmen Best Pioneers in Thanksgiving Clash

Webster Groves wins the turnover war on its way to a dominant victory on Thanksgiving.

Kirkwood proved to be no match for Webster Groves as the Statesmen capitalized on several Kirkwood turnovers to cruise to a 40-14 victory on Thanksgiving.

With Kirkwood on the verge of playing a state championship game, both teams' junior varsity squads clashed in the annual Turkey Day Game. Kirkwood started the game with a fumble on the opening kickoff. After Webster failed to capitalize on the turnover, the Pioneers took over possession deep in their own territory.

On the Pioneers' first offensive play, quarterback Connor Scott was sacked and fumbled, which led to a defensive touchdown by Webster Groves' Thomas Higgins. The Statesmen held an early 7-0 lead. Scott never returned to action and appeared to be nursing an arm injury.

William Hadler took over at quarterback for Kirkwood and immediately completed an impressive pass to Jacob Bopp to even the score. But the momentum was temporary as Webster's Bri'on Sanders answered with a touchdown of his own. That started a streak of 33 unanswered points by the Statesmen. 

In the third quarter, Sanders excelled on both sides of the ball with scores on the ground and after an interception that he returned all the way. That gave Webster a 27-7 lead. After Kirkwood failed to convert a 4th-and-7, Webster quarterback Robert Thompson capitalized on the prime field position. He completed a touchdown pass to Rishon Loper, which stretched the lead to 33-7. 

Following the score, Webster's Dorsey Lawrence picked off a Hadler pass and returned it for another defensive score. He intercepted another pass in the fourth quarter too. With the game out of reach, Jordan Brown of the Pioneers snapped an offensive drought with a direct snap scamper into the end zone, narrowing the Webster lead to 40-14. Hadler ended the game with another interception to Webster's Chris Johnson in the final seconds of the game.

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