By Kris Freeman for White House Football
WHITE HOUSE — The White House Blue Devils finally got a break with weather Thursday and hosted the Hendersonville Commandos in a varsity scrimmage, just one day before both teams head to East Robertson to compete Friday in a 14-team jamboree.
The host Commandos scored on four of their first five possessions and built a 27-20 lead before a younger group of Blue Devils roared back and scored 20 points to make the final a one-score deficit, 27-20.
White House went three and out on the opening series, and following a short punt to midfield, Hendersonville junior Cameron Turner broke outside right for 35 yards and a touchdown, with the PAT kick giving the Commandos a 7-0 lead.
Four plays later, White House coughed up the football inside the red zone when the punt snap sailed over the head of sophomore Logan Trimmer, recovered by Hendersonville at the 10. The Commandos moved the ball inside the one when bruising senior fullback Anthony Tate, a 250-pound force, powered into the endzone for a 14-0 edge.
After an exchange of punts, White House put together its best drive of the game as backup tailback Trey Hyde twice converted on third and short and the Devils moved the football to the 8-yard-line for 1st-and-goal, hoping to cut the lead in half. But Hyde’s next carry, after gaining over 40 yards on the drive, was punched out by a Commando defender and Hendersonville recovered at their own six. Minutes later, it was 20-0.
The visitors marched down the field, capped by a 41-yard pass to set up 1st-and-goal. Morgan Nappier rushed left for six yards to the end zone and the PAT sailed wide left. A double penalty resulted in a temporary ejection on the play of one player from both sides but each were allowed to return to the scrimmage.
Hendersonville added a fourth touchdown when Jack Peters scored from two yards away and the extra point was good to make it 27-0.
White House finally moved into scoring position again after stopping Hendersonville on fourth down at the goalline. The Commandos threw a crossing pattern incomplete on third down and then the Devils defense swarmed the tailback on an option toss in the right corner at the five-yard-line.
A.J. Allison broke a 21-yard run on the ensuing drive and that set up Alex Felts from eight yards away. Dillon Anderson hit the extra point to make it 27-7.
Though Trimmer was the unfortunate victim of the miscue earlier in the game, he got his chance back. With a full blitz on by the defense, Trimmer broke through the Hendersonville line untouched and hit quarterback Jeremias Elston. Instead of a sack, Trimmer simply took the ball away and raced 25 yards for the defensive touchdown and Chance Lamberth booted the extra point to cut the margin to 27-14.
After forcing a Hendersonville punt, the Blue Devils again moved the football down the field and capped the drive with an impressive touchdown throw. Sophomore backup quarterback Steven Rankin spiraled a beautiful pass over the right shoulder of a streaking senior receiver Alex Lyon in the right corner of the red zone, and Lyon stepped untouched for the score. Because of light conditions and hurrying the scrimmage, no PAT was attempted for a 27-20 score.
Both teams got one additional varsity series and then the freshmen took the field. Hendersonville’s freshmen scored twice on big runs and held a 12-0 advantage.