Preview: White House at Lipscomb Academy

By Kris Freeman for The White House Tribune

WHITE HOUSE – There has been a lot of purple in the rivalry history for the White House Blue Devils, but not all of it comes from Portland, whom the Devils defeated 31-0 in week one.

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White House (2-0) will travel to Lipscomb Academy in week three where the undefeated Mustangs (3-0) await. The two teams haven’t played since the year 2000 when White House won, 23-21. But, the two teams held a regular pre-season scrimmage during two-a-days each August, and the fans and administration of both teams have a heavy familiarity.

White House has won four of the last five meetings, but the one loss in that stretch was critical. Coming off a state championship in 1997, the Blue Devils hosted the Mustangs in 1998 at 6-0 and riding a school-record 21-game losing streak. With the Mustangs comfortably leading in the fourth quarter, they fumbled on a first down run that would have sealed the game, and White House forced overtime. In the overtime session, Lipscomb scored first and kicked the PAT, and White House did the same but suffered a rare and ill-timed miss for a 28-27 defeat.

White House finished 12-2 in the semifinals of Class 3-A. White House leads the overall series 10-8, beating Lipscomb for the next two seasons. Afterwards, White House moved to Class 4-A and the rivalry stalled.

The teams have a common opponent, and both beat the Greenbrier Bobcats in consecutive weeks. The Mustangs trailed 15-6 and were about to go down by 16 points heading into the locker room when a sudden turnover in the red zone changed the momentum. Greenbrier never scored again and fell 27-15, having two touchdowns come off the board to penalties.

White House turned the ball over three times and struggled on offense in week two, but forced overtime after a late missed field goal by the Bobcats. White House scored on its third play of overtime to win, 9-6.

There is nothing magical about the Mustangs, but that is a positive. The team is solid, and a traditional power with ball control and fundamental success. Lipscomb Academy will rank among the most physical teams White House will play all year.

The Mustangs are also powerful on offense, and this presents a contrast of styles. White House has scored 40 points in two games and allowed just six. Lipscomb, meanwhile, has scored 121 in three games and allowed 75 points. Lipscomb beat Page (60-42), Greenbrier (27-15) and Maplewood (34-18).

The Mustangs are led by senior tailback Deandre Tigg, and the 5-foot-8, 188 pounder has gained 638 yards and scored 10 rushing touchdowns. He is backed by senior fullback Cooper Jackson and the 250-pound bruiser has 24 carries for 255 yards and three scores.

Lipscomb has 1,100 yards rushing and 271 yards passing, as junior quarterback Sy Taylor has completed 14-of-23 for 271 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. Senior receiver Reid Weber has caught 13 of those for 263 yards and all three scores have gone to him.

Jackson leads the defense with 38 tackles. Senior linebacker Luke Runyon has 24 and junior defensive backs Hunter Hayes and Will Temple have 16.

For White House, the stable of backs has been a rotation. All have received significant carries, but minor injuries have kept several backs on the field. Alex Felts has 23 carries for 155 yards and sophomore Trey Hyde has 128 yards on 31 totes. Senior Alex Lyon has 66 yards on seven carries out of the Wildcat formation. Senior Bailey Burns has rushed 13 times for 48 yards and one touchdown, the game winner against Greenbrier in overtime.

Senior quarterback Ryan Pool has completed 10-of-16 passes for 98 yards with one interception. Chris Baldwin has caught four passes for 46 yards and Lyon has three catches for 35.

Senior linebacker Taylor Wood leads the team defensively with 18 tackles and Burns has 14 with senior defensive back Wesley James added 13. Senior defensive end Austin Browne has 12. White House has forced six turnovers.

The game kicks off at 7 p.m.

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