By Kris Freeman, Sports Editor
The White House Tribune
WHITE HOUSE — White House senior football players Zack Escue and Chase Dunlap have committed to sign to play college football with Austin Peay State University in Clarksville on National Signing Day.
The official signing took place at The Burr Building at White House High School Wednesday.
White House finished the 2012 season 7-6 in the quarterfinals for Class 4-A. Escue is an offensive tackle; Dunlap is a kicker. The Blue Devils were the District 9-AA champions. In four seasons, the pair helped lead the Blue Devils to a 28-22 record with four Class 4-A playoff appearances (6-4 playoff record). The team made a first round playoff appearance in 2009 and three consecutive trips to the Class 4-A quarterfinals from 2010-12.
“As an alumni and as a coach here, I am and we are very proud of their accomplishments,” said White House assistant coach Mark Lamberth. He is Zack’s offensive and defensive line coach, and works with kickers and is Chase’s head soccer coach.
“I hope that one day in 10 years they are going to be able to step back on that campus and get the cold chills that I still do when I go back to my campus (Western Kentucky). They have chosen a place not just to play football, but this is a stepping stone academically for the rest of their lives and for the next four or five years this is going to be an incredible experience.”
Austin Peay State University competes in the Ohio Valley Conference and finished 2-9 (1-7) in 2012, but won two of its final three games. The Governors compete in college football’s FCS division.
Dunlap (5-foot-7, 130 pounds) was a three-year starter for the Blue Devils. Dunlap kicked off 142 times in his career for 7,468 yards and 64 touchbacks with an average kick of 52.59 yards, and punted 15 times for 516 yards and an average with a long of 44 and four inside the 20 an average of 34.40 yards.
Chase made 68 career PATs and 21 field goals for 131 career points. He made four career special teams tackles.
“I want to thank everyone being here today to support me and for my family, my team, and my coaches and the entire community for supporting us,” Dunlap said. “I want to thank my family for taking me to camps in Wisconsin, Florida and everywhere else and for always being there to support me.”
During his senior season, he was named the Plackekicker of the Year for District 9-AA, and named first team All-County. He kicked off 34 times for 1,927 yards with 24 touchbacks and an average of 56.68 yards. He was perfect 20-for-20 on PAT and 8-of-13 on field goals with a long of 43, including a game-winner as time expired against unbeaten Livingston Academy in week seven at home.
“I have been blessed with an opportunity to coach Chase in two sports year-round for the last few years,” Lambert said. “We hopefully have them prepared to do good things on their own and be successful at the next level.”
Escue (6-foot-5, 300 pounds) was one of five seniors on the offensive line and was a three-year starter for the Blue Devils. He also played defensive tackle, and finished his career with 59 tackles and six tackles for losses.
Escue was named to the Class 4-A All-State team for 2012 by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association, and the Tennessean All-Midstate Team and All District 9-AA. He was named second team All-County.
“I just want to thank my parents for supporting me all the way from the beginning and haven’t missed a football game in four years, through every camp and visit and all of the time they have supporting me here,” Escue said. “It has been really amazing getting the chance to play for these coaches here at White House.”
Escue helped block for a tailback who rushed for 1,984 yards and 18 touchdowns his senior season, and an offense that rushed for 2,657 yards and passed for 1,042. During his four-year career, his senior teammate Grant Wicker rushed for 3,529 times behind the offensive line.
“Offensive linemen are close, and they are close with their coaches,” Lamberth said. “It’s the nature of it, playing an unglorified position and we coach an unglorified position. That’s the best thing about coaching is growing young men and getting to know these young men.”