Season Recap – the 2012 Blue Devils

wicker chester
Photo by Tommy Rouse

The White House Blue Devils advanced to the Class 4-A quarterfinals for the third straight season and finished as the District 9-AA champions for the first time, ending the year on a heart-breaking loss at home to Liberty Magnet School.

The Crusaders scored on their final offensive play of the night and defeated the Blue Devils. Stopping the regular season at 5-5 and entering the playoffs on a short losing streak, White House caught fire and beat Chester County in the first round before enacting revenge on Maplewood in the second round of the playoffs.

Tailback Grant Wicker was named the District 9-AA Most Valuable Player for the second time, and White House sent six seniors to play college football from the team for the upcoming season: TB Wicker (Tennessee Tech), OL-C Micah Kelly (Kentucky Christian), OT Zack Escue (Austin Peay), K Chase Dunlap (Austin Peay), OT Jarrison English (Bethel) and FB-LB Ethan Hoffman (Anderson).

White House gained 3,698 total yards (1,042 passing, 2,656 rushing). White House had two dominating categories, dominating time of possession at over 26 minutes per game, and holding opponents to just 31 percent on third down conversion while converting 45 percent on offense. White House also converted 55 percent of fourth down attempts.

Wicker was the leading rusher with 1,984 yards and 18 touchdowns. Junior Ryan Pool completed 63 passes for 810 yards, and senior Chris Mullins caught 24 passes for 340 yards with senior Caleb Sabin catching 11 for 234 with a season-best 73-yard reception.  Mullins also had 406 yards in kick returns with an 83-yard return for a touchdown, the longest play of any kind for the Blue Devils.

Junior Taylor Wood led the defense with 124 tackles. Junior Wesley James had five sacks, 21 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hurries with seven passes broken up, most of which tipped at the line of scrimmage. Senior Jordan Huskey and sophomore Josh Mullins each had three interceptions.

Portland 28, White House 7

The Panthers opened the season with a surprising victory over White House, controlling the game from the outset and scoring in all four quarters. White House managed a third quarter touchdown, but by then the Blue Devils were 21 points down and facing a serious hill to climb.

Wicker passed for 169 yards and ran for 119. Wood led the team with 10 tackles. Portland quarterback Taylor Toney threw for two touchdowns and Bryant Dowlen and Anthony Lynch ran for one each. The win tied the rivalry all-time at 22 wins each.

White House 19, Westmoreland 7

The win over Westmoreland proved to be much bigger than first realized, as the Eagles would go undefeated in District 9-AA following this week. When White House lost to Sycamore in the final week of the season, the victory over Westmoreland in week two broke the tie for the district championship.

Wicker rushed for 262 yards against a good Eagles defense and Pool and Lane Spivey added scoring runs. But it was the White House defense keeping the Eagles off the board for the majority of the game, with interceptions by three players including one each by Chris and Josh Mullins. Wood again had 10 tackles.

Station Camp 45, White House 10

The game was tied 10-10 at half, and then Station Camp exploded at home for a 45-10 victory. The Bison rushed for 427 yards and five touchdowns. Pool completed 8-of-15 for 199 yards and Wicker rushed for 104. Hoffman had 12 tackles and Huskey added 10.

White House 27, Greenbrier 12

The White House defense held Greenbrier off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter and the Blue Devils cruised to a 27-12 win at home in the longest rivalry in Middle Tennessee football, now at 69 games. White House won its 45th contest over Greenbrier in school history. Wicker rushed for 232 yards and two touchdowns and Wood had 14 tackles.

Beech 42, White House 0

Highly-touted recruit Jalen Hurd was limited to his lowest output of the season, but that was primarily after Beech held back in the second half of a dominating effort at White House. The eventual Class 5-A state champions erupted to a 35-0 halftime lead. They scored on six of the first seven possessions of the game.

Hurd rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns and caught another for 30 yards. Pool completed 13-of-24 for 108 yards but the Blue Devils suffered on third down, just 3-of-10.

White House 21, Goodpasture 7

The Blue Devils held Goodpasture to 188 total yards and neither team scored after White House built a 14-point lead at the break.

Wicker rushed for 251 yards and two touchdowns and Bailey Burns led the defense with nine tackles. White House beat Goodpasture for the first time in four meetings since the two teams came into the same district.

White House 32, Livingston Academy 31

In the most thrilling game of the year and one of the best in program history, White House knocked off undefeated Livingston Academy on a game-winning field goal.

After missing his first two attempts of the night, Dunlap connected on a 28-yard kick as time expired to give WHHS the one-point win. It was the first time in school history that White House came from behind to win on a field goal at the end of the game.

Wicker rushed for 215 yards and four touchdowns. Hoffman led the team with 10 tackles followed by Josh Mullins with nine. White House rallied from a 21-7 deficit at the half and retook the lead after the Wildcats made a go-ahead kick with 2:04 left.

White House 35, Macon County 7

The Blue Devils clinched the District 9-AA championship with a dominating 35-7 win at Macon County. Pool threw for 121 yards and two touchdowns including strikes of 59 to Sabin and 35 to Huskey. Hoffman led the defense with six tackles and Wicker rushed for 163 yards. Macon County did not score until two minutes left in the game.

Smith County 21, White House 0

For the fourth straight year, the Blue Devils were flat and struggled against Smith County. The Owls were missing three starters but Austin Gregory rushed for 123 yards to cover the slack. White House managed only 110 yards of total offense.

Sycamore 25, White House 18

It was an awful weather night and a tough end to the regular season as Sycamore earned its way into the playoffs and upset White House in week 10.

After White House scored 18 points in the first quarter and looked in total control, the Blue Devils never scored again. Sycamore rallied with 13 points in the final four minutes to win the game. White House last five possessions ended in three fumbles lost, a loss on downs and a missed field goal. The lone offensive highlight was a 51-yard touchdown catch by Chris Mullins.

With White House driving to try and tie or win the game in the final seconds, the Blue Devils broke a pass reception inside the Sycamore 20 and the ball was stripped away.

White House 24, Chester County 10

A pesky Chester County team stayed in the game until the end but White House won the first round of the Class 4-A playoffs by 14, limiting the Eagles to 1-of-11 on third down and 2-of-6 on fourth down.

After stopping the Eagles on downs at their own 44 with 4:31 left, leading by seven, White House gave the ball to Wicker who put the night away with a 44-yard touchdown run. Wood had 15 tackles, and Hoffman and Josh Mullins had 10 tackles. Wood also had an interception to seal the victory with 2:27 left.

White House 23, Maplewood 22

One year after shutting out White House in the quarterfinals, Maplewood was its own worst enemy and suffered an upset in the second round on the road.

White House only gained 173 yards of total offense, but capitalized on missed conversion points by the Panthers and a huge special teams play. Leading 14-12 at the half, White House fell behind 20-16 in the third quarter for just a few seconds when Cortez Adams scored on a 34-yard touchdown. But Chris Mullins picked a great time for his only career kick return for a touchdown, racing 83 yards on the ensuing kickoff and a 23-20 lead pushed the Blue Devils into the fourth quarter.

James sacked LaDarius Wimbley on the final offensive play for Maplewood and White House ran out the clock on the Panthers goal line to win the game. There were two safeties in the game, one for each team, on bad snaps. Maplewood was 5-of-11 on third down but 0-for-3 on fourth down and committed eight penalties.

Liberty Magnet 27, White House 23

Dominique Davis found Ajon White for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 58 seconds left and the White House Blue Devils were eliminated by Liberty Magnet School in only the second meeting between the schools.

White House then fumbled the first snap and the game was over. White House rushed for 285 yards, but the Crusaders gained 459 yards in the game. Davis passed for 226.  A critical call in the second half swung the momentum, as the Crusaders kept the football following an interception by Jordan Huskey which was ruled incomplete. White House was leading 20-13 in the third quarter. Five plays later, Liberty tied the game.

White House retook the lead 23-20 with 4:05 left before the game-winning drive. Colton Contella led the defense with 10 tackles in his final career game.

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