Dexter Webb, better known at Rock Canyon High School as D.J., is an all-around football player. He does just about everything for the Jaguars.
Rock Canyon opened the season with a 44-0 romp over Smoky Hill on Aug. 28 at Sports Authority Stadium in Parker, and Webb was the standout player.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior returned punts and kickoffs, played cornerback, caught passes and ran the football. Webb scored the Jaguars' first three touchdowns, on a 64-yard punt return, a 22-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Hommel and a 53-yard punt return.
He returned five punts for 160 yards, caught two passes for 31 yards, ran three times for 23 yards and returned a kickoff for 17 yards to account for 231 all-purpose yards.
“We've got him playing corner and H-back so he'll catch the ball, run the ball a little bit, so he's kind of doing it all,” said Rock Canyon coach Brian Lamb.
“I really don't know what I am,” Webb said. “I just go out and do what I can do to help the team. Whereever they need me is where I play.”
Webb got Rock Canyon rolling when he caught a punt, switched directions once and bowled over 6-foot-2, 190-pound punter Vincent Braud for the game's first touchdown with 5:57 to play in the first quarter.
“I just got the punt and headed in one direction,” he Webb. “I didn't know if they were going to tackle me and I switched directions, my team got the blocks and I took it to the house.
“The kicker tried to tackle me. I just fought and fought and wanted to score the touchdown. I did not know he was the kicker at first.”
Webb hauled in a TD pass from Hommel on the Jaguars' next possession.
“Wide receiver Grant Schutte ran a good route, took the outside linebacker and left me open,” said Webb.
Rock Canyon went ahead 20-0 with 2:50 left in the first half on Webb's 53-yard punt return into the end zone.
“That was all the blocking,” said Webb. “If the blocking wasn't there, that could not have occurred.”
Rock Canyon scored once more before halftime, added two touchdowns on its first two possessions in the third quarter, and the mercy rule with a running clock went into effect with 6:55 remaining in the third quarter.
“D.J. had a great game,” said Lamb. “The punt return kick-started us. Obviously he had two punt returns for a touchdown but he was just running with authority, trying to finish his runs and not taking the first contact and running and running. I was proud of him. That was great to watch.
“It was not bad for an opener.”
Hommel completed six of 11 passes for 61 yards and was Rock Canyon's leading rusher with 78 yards on seven carries that included a 19-yard TD run. The Jaguars finished with 205 yards total offense.
Smoky Hill quarterback Avila Karson threw 34 passes but completed only 10 for 96 yards and was intercepted twice. The Buffaloes were held to 41 yards rushing.
“We were able to get some pressure on him and made him throw the ball quicker than he probably wanted to,” said Lamb. “Our linebackers did a nice job of stepping up and filling on the run. Then when we brought pressure off the edge we were able to get there quick enough.”
Rock Canyon's defense was led by linebackers Tyler Linch, Sam White, Joey Richmond and Peyten Gilmore, who also had a 2-yard touchdown run. Defensive lineman Justin Hunter was credited with a team-high nine total tackles.
Sawyer Johnson and Vincent Gullia each intercepted a pass.
Rock Canyon faces a tougher test Sept. 5 when the Jaguars journey to Castle Rock to play Douglas County.
“We are a work in progress,” said Lamb. “We have to get better. We missed some assignments on the offensive line that we are going to watch film and correct. It was a good way to start the season and build from here.”