KNOXVILLE -- Friendship Christian School got off to a suspect start when the team bus arrived late here Friday night. Host Knoxville Webb showed a welcoming spirit by allowing the game to start at 7:40 p.m. — 10 minutes later than normal — to allow the Commanders more time to warm up.
The Spartans weren’t as hospitable once the game began, however. Webb stormed to a 36-0 halftime lead an route to a 36-7 victory over FCS.
The hosts evened their record at 2-2 and won its first Division II-A East/Middle region game of the season by holding the visiting Commanders (2-2, 1-1) to 29 yards of offense through three quarters.
Webb’s offense had no trouble, though it didn’t have to move far. Five of Webb’s six first-half possessions started in FCS territory. The other began at the Webb 46 yard-line.
Matther Melton finished with 71 yards rushing and two scores on seven carries. Tennessee commitment Todd Kelly Jr. added 34 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Robby Strachan pitched in 59 yards and a touchdown on six carries, and quarterback Johnny Chun had 41 yards and a touchdown on two totes.
But Melton and most of the other starters’ services weren’t needed much after halftime, as Webb has won 20 consecutive region games.
FCS didn’t get a first down until the 1-minute, 17-second mark of the second quarter and is now 1-2 since Syracuse commitment and senior quarterback A.J. Long (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) suffered an undisclosed injury.
Long helped FCS win a Class 2A championship last season.
"I said it last week," FCS coach John McNeal said. "Somebody said, ‘Is he going to play this week?’ (I said) ‘I don’t know.’
"He didn’t (play). I hope next week he is. That’s where that is."