By Kris Freeman for The White House Connection
ASHLAND CITY – The White House Blue Devils completed a clean sweep through District 9-AA Friday night with a 34-14 victory over Cheatham County.
White House (8-1, 6-0) jumped out quickly to a 21-0 lead, and followed suit from a season-long methodical style of holding the football. For the fourth time in nine games, the Blue Devils had the ball for over 30 minutes time of possession. A final home game in week 10 with Pope John Paul will conclude the regular season before White House will host the first round of the playoffs.
“We are thankful to get the win, but we have to finish this season strong and play well next week,” said White House head coach Jeff Porter. “Even though we are finished in district play, our overall record may determine where we are seeded for the playoffs and we have a big game next week at home against a new opponent we have never played before.”
The Cubs (3-6, 2-3) lost at home for the first time all season and struggled for consistency on offense with just 118 total yards. An 80-yard fumble return put them in double digits in the fourth quarter when the visitors already led by 27 points.
Junior Josh Mullins had the big game for White House, scoring on a 16-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter from Ryan Pool, then racing untouched for 59 yards on a run through the middle of the defense, coming from the slot position to make it 21-0 early. Mullins was not done, scooping an interception in the red zone from Cheatham County quarterback Matt Brown, and he needs just 27 return yards next week to become the school’s all-time leading kick returner.
Bailey Burns made the most of a few carries, scoring the Blue Devils only two other touchdowns while making a big impact with fellow senior Taylor Wood on defense. Wood led the team with 13 tackles.
After an evenly split first half in time of possession, White House controlled the football with ease in the second half. Cheatham County only had possession for six of 24 minutes, and was limited to 10 total yards in the final two quarters. They had cut the lead to 24-7 at the half.
Dillon Anderson for White House made all four extra points and nailed two field goals to provide for the final margin.
The Blue Devils turned the football over in the fourth quarter when a Trey Hyde fumble bounced into the arms of a Cubs player for an 80-yard touchdown return. The fumble was the first turnover for White House in five games.
Coach Porter’s team ranks 13th in the entire state of Tennessee in scoring defense, at 10.3 points per contest. Had it not been for the late fumble return, the Blue Devils would be seventh in the state.
Friday’s home game with Pope John Paul II will be the first in six weeks, after White House played four road games and then transferred a home game with White House Heritage to Vanderbilt Stadium.
The game will feature senior night for the football players, as the class will be recognized on field before the game. This senior class has made three trips to the Class 4-A quarterfinals and clinched a back-to-back District 9-AA championship for the first time since the 1997-98 season.