By Kris Freeman for White House Football
WHITE HOUSE – The White House Blue Devils and Greenbrier Bobcats have a lot of history heading into tonight’s game at Dewey H. Whitson Stadium, meeting for the 70th time in a rivalry that is the third longest consecutive series played in the state of Tennessee.
“If you look at the Tennessee history books, this is one of the longest-running rivalry games in Tennessee football,” head coach Jeff Porter told The News Examiner. “It’s a big deal to these kids who grow up playing junior pro against each other. We are closer to them than we are Portland. The kids know each other really well.”
White House (1-0) is riding the momentum of a 31-0 victory over Portland at home in week one, while Greenbrier enters the game 1-1 after disposing of Springfield, 54-27, then dropping a 27-15 setback at home last week to Lipscomb Academy.
Like Portland’s 7-0 loss to Westmoreland in week one when the potential winning touchdown was erased by a penalty, the Bobcats suffered a similar fate in the red zone against Lipscomb. Despite holding the Mustangs to 300 yards of total offense and only 27 points, Greenbrier lost the contest on a crucial fumble inside its own territory. Two touchdowns in the red zone were called back due to penalties.
The first of which was crucial, with Greenbrier poised to take a 22-6 lead before halftime. Bobcats quarterback Nick Young was flagged for an illegal pass on a touchdown, and the Mustangs countered with an 86-yard run to make it 15-13 at the break, according to a recap from The Robertson County Times.
Lipscomb Academy scored on the first two possessions of the second half, but the exact same penalty wiped out a second touchdown scored to leave it a 12-point game. Greenbrier also missed on a late opportunity inside the five yard line.
The traditional Wing-T offense for the Bobcats is led by senior fullback James Pentecost who rushed 16 times for 119 yards and a touchdown. Senior J.R. Brown added 60 yards and a score.
But tonight’s game with White House is more critical for both teams as the season opener in district play. Winning the 9-AA title starts with a matchup in White House tonight, as the defending champions will look to get off on the right foot.
White House also found success running the football. Senior tailback Alex Felts rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown, and sophomore Trey Hyde added 74 yards and a pair of scores with quarterback and senior Ryan Pool sneaking one in for the other. Alex Lyon made his first career football start as a senior and bolted for 64 yards on three carries and made a crucial defensive fumble recovery at defensive back inside the 10 yard line with Portland threatening to break the shutout.
White House defensive end Austin Browne led all tacklers with eight stops, but the defense forced three turnovers in the game including a diving interception by junior Josh Mullins.
White House and Greenbrier have played 69 times in 67 consecutive years. The Blue Devils lead the regular-season series 43-24 and have won both postseason match-ups. White House has defeated Greenbrier every meeting in the past 33 except twice, when Greenbrier won in 2005 and 2010, both at GHS.
The Blue Devils have won the last two meetings.