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Former Trojan Antonio Dawson returns kick 96 yards for TD in Webber's loss to Stetson University

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Antonio Dawson Photo courtesy of Webber International University Antonio Dawson

Story courtesy of Webber International University


The Webber International football team traveled to DeLand Saturday night to take on Division 1 opponent Stetson University. The Warriors battled hard thanks to a great defensive effort and a second-half scoring surge, but were unable to take control, ultimately falling 38-28.



Weems paced the Webber offense with 102 rushing yards, 61 receiving yards and three total touchdowns. Grotjan led the Warriors with 67 passing yards while Dennie added 44 of his own. Jalen Williams led the team with eight total tackles, while Mobley had seven and Kh. Hill had 6. Harrell punted five times for 186 yards, averaging 37.2 yards per punt. Van Fleet was 4-4 on field goals.




The Hatters won the coin toss and deferred, giving the Warriors the ball to start the game. Blake Birchler started under center for the Warriors but only managed two drives before Jacob Denniesubbed in. The Warriors would go three and out resulting in Reagan Harrell sending a punt 33 yards to put the Hatters on their own 35. 




Stetson's started strong with a five-yard rush for Kaderis Roberts, before starting QB  Matthew O'Connor completed three passes including a 41-yard heave to Nazeviah Burris for the game's first score. An interception gave the ball back to the Hatters, which they used to score another touchdown. The Warriors' next drive ended with a Harrell punt that pinned the Hatters within their own 12. The Hatters moved downfield swiftly before Roberts rushed into the end zone from 11 yards out to bring the score to 21-0. The Warriors moved quickly down the field before a strip-sacked by the Hatters. A nine-yard rush by Roberts ended the first quarter with the score sitting at 21-0.



To start the second quarter, Brewer ran in a touchdown from the two-yard line to extend the Hatters' lead to 28.  The Warriors' ensuing drive was marred by another sack by the Hatters, forcing Webber and Harrell to punt. The tide would begin to turn in the Warriors' favor after this, as Tyler Powell was able to intercept a second down pass at the Warriors' 43-yard line. A nine-yard pass and scramble would be enough for Richard Dunbar IV to earn a first down. Dennie then connected with Reynald Fleurival for 32 yards to bring the Warriors into the red zone. Multiple Warrior penalties backed Webber up to the 27-yard line before a personal foul on the Hatters gave Webber 15 yards and an automatic first down. A four yard rush from Weems is just what the Warriors needed to get on the board. The Hatters then drove the ball down the field, before the Warrior defense came up with three straight stops to force a turnover on downs. The last drive of the half for the Hatters lead to the final touchdown scored for the Hatters for the game, and ended the first half 28-7. 



The Warriors defense came out to start the second half with a vengeance as a combination sack from Khristian and Kayden Hill, forced a Stetson punt. After a first down rush from Weems, Dennie completed a six-yard pass to Avery Giddensbefore Weems rushed for another four yards to grab another first down. Trent Grotjan closed out the game for the Warriors and gained 10 yards on a scramble to give Webber the first down. The drive ended with a 26-yard punt by Harrell, putting the Hatters on their own 21. The Warriors defense answered with another three and out as a third down sack by Ke'Yon Busby forced another Stetson punt. A fumble by the Warriors would give the Hatters possession with just two minutes left in the third quarter. Webber's defense held strong and only allowed a field goal before taking over in the fourth quarter. 



The fourth quarter started off with a bang for the Warriors as returner Antonio Dawson took the Hatters' kickoff 96 yards to the house, bobbing and weaving his way through the Stetson kick team to put the Warriors on the board again, followed by an unsuccessful two-point attempt. Van Fleet's kickoff flew into the end zone for a touchback, before the Warriors shut down the Hatters yet again and forced another punt. Grotjan completed a pass to Dunbar who proceeded to run a hook and ladder with Weems, pitching it to the running back, who then proceeded to take the ball 44 yards to the house. Grotjan was able to stay on his feet long enough to convert the two-point conversion and bring the Warriors within 17.



Stetson again was unsuccessful against a resurgent Warrior defense. O'Connor completed a pass to Workinger who was seemingly headed for the end zone, before Derek Percivalle punched the ball out at the two-yard line and Sean Major recovered it in the end zone, resulting in a touchback. 

Weems continued his torrid pace, gaining 35 yards and two first downs across three rushes. Dawson took a handoff and rushed to the outside, gaining 15 yards and a first down. Dawson would get six more yards before a pass interference call against the Hatters gave the Warriors an automatic first down at the Stetson 12. Weems scored the final touchdown for the Warriors from six yards out. Van Fleet's extra point was good, dropping the deficit to 10. The Hatters finished the game by kneeling out the clock, and took the win 38-28.



The Warriors will be back in action at home Saturday, September 30 when they host the St. Thomas University Bobcats on the Warrior Turf Field. Head to EventBrite to secure your tickets.

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