WHITE HOUSE — In the most dominating performance by a White House team over its arch-rival Portland in 23 years, the Blue Devils opened the 2013 season with a 31-0 shutout of the Panthers at Dewey H. Whitson Stadium.
Alex Felts rushed 21 times for 149 yards and a touchdown in the senior’s debut as the starting tailback, leading 356 yards of total offense and five scoring drives. White House held Portland to less than 100 yards of offense until the fourth quarter and the Panthers finished with 179 for the game.
For the second week in a row, the Panthers (0-2) did not score. It was the first shutout by White House over Portland since a 28-0 victory on the road in 1990.
White House was efficient on offense in such a methodical manner that the Devils held the football for almost 31 minutes of the game, converting 6-of-10 third downs and capitalizing on every attempt in the red zone. White House punted just once, and failed on fourth down on the final drive with the second string offense on the field.
For Portland, it was the opposite. When Devonta House gained 16 yards on the first play of the game, the tide flipped as the Blue Devils immediately forced a punt. The Panthers were 3-of-10 on third down, fumbled four times losing two, and threw an interception. Portland was 8-of-15 passing for 101 yards in the contest.
White House took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on a 34-yard field goal by Dillon Anderson. He was also 3-of-3 on PAT kicks in the game. A quick three-and-out and the Blue Devils marched 12 plays and 56 yards to the end zone, with senior quarterback Ryan Pool sneaking the ball in from one yard out with 8:43 left in the second quarter for a 10-0 advantage.
House returned the Chance Lamberth kickoff 24 yards to the 38, but House from the single wing offense threw an interception on first down, with Josh Mullins picking it off on the visitor sideline diving out of bounds.
White House made it 17-0 on a nine-play drive covering 58 yards. Trey Hyde scored on a one-yard run on second down. Portland punted again, and White House missed a 57-yard field goal attempt as the halftime horn sounded.
The Panthers defense finally held to open the third quarter, forcing the only White House punt of the game after five plays. But Bryant Dowlen fumbled the shotgun snap on the first Portland play of the second half, with Austin Browne knocking it loose and Wesley James jumping on the turnover for the Devils.
It took just five plays and 25 yards to make it a 24-0 lead with Felts scoring from seven yards out with 7:37 left in the third.
Portland put together its longest drive of the night, marching into the White House red zone and taking 6:27 off the clock. But when Austin Griggs scrambled left inside the 10, he was stripped by Josh Mullins and Alex Lyon recovered the fumble at the 8. White House marched 92 yards to ice the game for good.
The drive was full of big plays as Hyde ran for 16, Lyon for 24 and then Pool connected with Chris Baldwin on a beautiful throw to the right corner near the goalline for 32 yards. That set up Hyde for a four yard touchdown run and Lamberth kicked the PAT for the eventual 31-0 final.
Pool was 3-of-5 passing for 45 yards with Baldwin catching two for 40 yards. Hyde rushed 14 times for 72 yards and a pair of scores and Lyon added 65 yards on three carries. Portland was led by Griggs with four carries for 24 yards, while House added 20 yards, Dowlen 15 and Chris Greer 20 on the final play of the game.
Browne was the leading tackler for White House with eight stops, followed by Wood and Bailey Burns with six each, Mullins, Denis Schaffer and Jamie Futch with five, and Lyon, James and Tyler Ellis four. Mullins, Browne and Emmett Cannon all forced fumbles, and Caleb Huffines, Futch and Zach Baldwin combined on a sack.
White House had 10 tackles for losses.
The Blue Devils host Greenbrier next Friday in the first District 9-AA contest of the year. The Bobcats are 1-1, White House is 1-0.