2013 Season Recap: White House made fourth straight trip to Class 4-A quarterfinals

2013 Season Recap

By Kris Freeman for White House Football

The White House Blue Devils finished 10-3 in 2013 and won the District 9-AA championship for the second straight season, with a fourth consecutive trip to the Class 4-A quarterfinals. White House seniors graduated having played 52 games in four years and ranked among the most successful postseason classes in school history with a playoff record of 8-4.

Senior linebacker Taylor Wood ended his career as the leading tackler in school history and went on to play in the TACA Toyota East-West All-Star Classic, as he suited up in the blue helmet for the final time. Coach Jeff Porter and other members of the WHHS staff were among his coaches in the All-Star game.Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 9.50.00 PM

Wood made 19 tackles in his final game to surpass Kevin Jackson’s career mark of 357 and end his career with 368 total stops.

White House 31, Portland 0

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.

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.

White House 9, Greenbrier 6 (OT)

White House won on the final play of the game with a 9-6 victory over Greenbrier in overtime. The Blue Devils plunged into victory when senior tailback Bailey Burns found redemption on a four-yard touchdown run on 3rd-and-Goal in the first overtime. The Bobcats had scored on a 20-yard field goal to take a 6-3 lead just moments before.

It was the reminder of the Livingston Academy finish from week seven in 2012, when then senior kicker Chase Dunlap missed two field goals into a stiff wind early before coming back to kick the game-clincher as time expired on a 32-31 triumph. Burns, like his former teammate, got a second chance Friday. With the game tied 3-3 and just 1:02 left in regulation, White House was moving the football with authority on a 12-play, 56-yard drive when Burns coughed up a first down fumble at the Greenbrier 16, recovered by the Bobcats. But he got the call in overtime and cashed in, just two plays after a six-yard sneak by senior quarterback Ryan Pool.

Burns ended the game with 12 carries for 42 yards. Sophomore Trey Hyde had 17 for 56, and the Blue Devils rushed for only 125 yards in the game. Pool completed 7-of-11 for 53 yards.

Lipscomb Academy 31, White House 6

The Blue Devils hot start came to a screeching halt at Lipscomb Academy as the Mustangs rumbled over White House, 31-6. Jamie Futch had 17 tackles as did senior teammate Taylor Wood, but much of that was to the powerful Lipscomb offense being on the field for the majority of the game. Josh Mullins had seven tackles, an interception and one reception. Bailey Burns rushed 19 times for 73 yards, and Wesley James caught two passes, made nine tackles, and had a fumble recovery. Denis Schaffer also made nine tackles.

White House 18, Sycamore 15

When hard rain set in during the fourth quarter of Friday’s Homecoming game for White House High School, it was a symbolic end to an ugly night of football with yet a beautiful result. Marred in an offensive slump of just 121 total yards and scoring just one offensive touchdown, White House overcame Sycamore with a thrilling 18-15 victory in front of the rain-soaked crowd. Dillon Anderson’s 25-yard field goal with 9:20 left was ultimately the difference.

White House’s Corey Cantrell recovered a Clanton fumble with 3:45 left in the third quarter to stop momentum for the War Eagles, then White House went three and out and a short punt. On the first play, Clanton was attempting to hand the ball off and Emmett Cannon helped force a fumble right into the arms of Tyler Ellis at the Blue Devils 46. Lyon ran for 20, then Felts for seven and the quarter changed ends of the field. Now facing a field goal opportunity into the wind, Anderson knocked it through on 4th-and-5.

By then, the skies emptied with rain and Sycamore pushed down the field to attempt a tie. Both teams punted, and the War Eagles had one final shot at their own 40 after a short punt sailed out of bounds with 2:58 left. Clanton took advantage, connecting with Baker for 29 yards on the first play, and then scrambled for 11 yards to the 20 for a first down. Dillan Bright gained four, then Clanton was incomplete on second and third down with Josh Mullins knocking away a potential winning touchdown throw.

Herstek lined up for the game-tying 34-yard field goal and the kick missed low and right, leaving White House an opportunity to run out the clock. The Blue Devils surrendered 235 yards of total offense to Sycamore, with Clanton connecting on 11-of-19 passes for 97 yards. White House was led by Alex Felts with 25 carries for 67 yards. Denis Schaffer led the defense with 11 tackles followed by Taylor Wood and Bailey Burns with eight each.

White House 28, Springfield 7

Penalty flags and a sloppy third quarter could not take the luster off a stellar effort by the White House Blue Devils, spoiling the Springfield Yellow Jackets on Homecoming night with a 28-7 victory. White House took control of the game in the second quarter and put it away in the third, despite a 12-minute stretch of the clock on the field taking over an hour of actual time. The reason was 22 combined penalties for 171 yards between the two squads.

While the White House offense compiled 254 yards and kept the ball for 28 minutes, the defense was stingy all night and limited a high-powered Springfield attack to 154 total yards. A third of those yards came on a fake punt by Tim Barbee for 51. Ryan Pool rushed for a touchdown, and completed 6-of-7 for 63 yards. The lone miss was a dropped pass across the middle, hitting his receiver high and on the hands. Fellow senior Felts rushed 20 times for 100 yards.

White House did not turn it over, but on a third quarter run – right after Felts eclipsed the 100-yard mark – he fumbled and Pool recovered for a 10-yard loss. The tailback got those yards back.

White House 26, White House Heritage 7

The historic first meeting of the two public high schools in White House on the football field moved the showcase event of the town to Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville. The Blue Devils of White House High School dominated the game on the ground and in time of possession, winning 26-7 over the Patriots of White House Heritage High School Thursday night. The estimated crowd of 6,000 people watched as two teams battled on the gridiron for the first time ever, after the Sumner and Robertson County line running through the town resulted in a new school opening 12 years ago.

Following an opening scoring drive of 13 plays and 76 yards for White House to take a 6-0 lead, the Blue Devils turned to a consistent defensive performance to take control of the contest for good. White House held White House Heritage to 31 total yards and no first downs until a final 13-play, 84-yard drive by the Patriots to get on the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter. The Patriots had 110 yards of total offense, 88 of which on the ground and was just 1-of-6 on third down. The Patriots only ran 29 plays in the game. White House had 328 total yards and ran 64 plays, easily holding a 33:40-14:20 edge in time of possession.

Senior tailback Alex Felts carried 30 times for 172 yards, breaking for 38 yards on the second play of the game to set the tone for the Blue Devils on the ground. Ryan Pool completed 6-of-10 for 70 yards and rushed for two touchdowns.

White House 31, Harpeth 0

White House took one step closer to a District 9-AA championship with a 31-0 shutout of Harpeth on the road Friday night, dominating the Indians despite an evenly-matched statistical effort by both teams. The Blue Devils kept the Indians scoreless with turnovers and sacks and cashed in on two big plays to put the contest away. Alex Lyon caught two touchdown passes from fellow senior Ryan Pool, and it was the first time White House threw a pass into the endzone successfully in 11 games.

The Blue Devils came into the game with a plus-seven turnover ratio and pushed it to double digits with the win over Harpeth. While the Indians turned it over three times, White House held serve and turned the opening series into points. Overall, White House was 7-of-10 passing for 120 yards. The Blue Devils rushed 36 times for 115 yards with Felts collecting 51 on 20 carries. Total offense was 235-215 in favor of the Devils.

White House 28, Westmoreland 13

Tied 7-7 heading into an emotional locker room, adversity seemed to leave White House on the short end of momentum. The Devils exploded for 21 points in the third quarter and the defense held Westmoreland without a first down for the opening 13 minutes of the second half. The setup was a controversial ending to the first half. White House successfully converted a fake punt with Troy Raymond gaining five yards near midfield with 12 seconds left. Westmoreland’s Jay Wright was flagged for an illegal targeting hit on a defenseless receiver, knocking junior Josh Mullins to the turf on crossing route.

With one timeout, White House quarterback Ryan Pool ran the draw to the Eagles 20-yard-line and the Devils sideline called for timeout with two seconds left in the half. The timeout was granted but officials allowed the clock to expire, and an emotional Blue Devils team left the sideline, returned to the field, and eventually returned to the locker room with the half over.

Alex Felts rushed 31 times for 128 yards and three touchdowns, and he was complimented by fellow senior Bailey Burns with 10 carries for 63 yards and a score, and Burns led the defense with 12 tackles.

White House 34, Cheatham County 14

The White House Blue Devils completed a clean sweep through District 9-AA with a 34-14 victory over Cheatham County. White House 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.

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.

Pope John Paul 18, White House 10

Pope John Paul II held off an explosive start and late surge by White House, beating the Blue Devils on the road as both teams closed the regular season, 18-10. The Knights took control of the game by halftime after Josh Mullins opened the contest with a 69-yard kick return for White House, setting up a field goal and 3-0 lead. But leading 15-3 and dominating offensive stats, PJP held on as the Blue Devils mounted a late rally and had the ball three times in the final quarter down just one score.

The Knights had 281 total yards to White House’s 123. White House was just 3-of-13 on third down even though PJP converted just 1-of-7. Forcing turnovers all season, the Blue Devils failed to pick up a takeaway, while giving it away twice.

Felts carried 20 times for 52 yards but Pool completed just 5-of-14 for 36 yards and Lyon missed on all three attempts. Jarreau and Ben Brooks combined for 7-of-8 passing for 94 yards, with Hayes catching three passes for 44 plus the two-pointer. Seniors Wood and Wesley James led the White House defense with 14 and 10 tackles, respectively.

White House 35, Page 25

Alex Lyon rushed eight times for 144 yards and a touchdown, completed 3-of-4 passes for 33 yards and made five tackles with three pass break-ups in a 35-25 opening round victory for White House at home over Page. Every bit of the athleticism by Lyon was needed, as the Patriots offense cashed in for 476 total yards, including a brilliant performance by senior quarterback Zack Mizell. The visiting signal caller struck for 31-of-54 passes for 424 yards with a touchdown and an interception, nearly leading Page back from the dead in the final few minutes.

But that’s when the resilient Blue Devils kicked into gear, scoring twice on big plays to ice the game. Lyon’s 57-yard run for a score made it 28-18 after Page’s Mason Fluey missed a game-tying 27-yard field goal. Then Alex Felts scampered for 17 yards into the endzone but not without excitement, fumbling at the 4-yard-line and falling on the ball for a touchdown to make it 35-18.

Felts had 23 carries for 103 yards. Sophomore Trey Hyde, who has missed much of the season to injury, rushed five times for 23 yards but impressed the home fans with a brilliant six-yard run for a touchdown in the third quarter.

White House 21, Lexington 14

A methodical drive ended with a flurry Friday night as Alex Lyon burst through the Lexington line of scrimmage for a 30-yard touchdown to lift White House to a 21-14 win with 37 seconds remaining. Lyon had a monster night, rushing 13 times for 106 yards, completing 2-of-3 passes, catching a pass for 22 yards, returning two kicks, made six tackles and picked off a pass on defense. He even took a first quarter sack for a loss of 15.

Lexington jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the opening drive, then pushed the ball into the red zone in the second quarter. But when quarterback Tylan Johnson handed to Tanner Kizer, he was stripped by Blaiz Phillips in the middle of the line and Trey Hyde recovered. White House responded with a 10-play, 83-yard drive to tie the game at halftime when Alex Felts scored from five-yards out. Felts had 23 carries for 69 yards.

White House took a 14-7 lead in the third when Ryan Pool connected with Josh Mullins for 64 yards and the longest play from scrimmage for White House this season. Pool was 4-of-4 for 104 yards and a touchdown. Mullins caught three passes for 73 yards. But Lexington responded, with 10 plays for 71 yards to tie it up on an 11-yard run by Tariqious Tisdale in the third quarter.

The box score was almost dead even. White House led in first down, 16-13, and total yards, 286-251. The teams combined for 13-of-22 on third and fourth down and punted just three times total. The difference was a limit of big plays by White House and three turnovers created.

Giles County 34, White House 10

An impressive season came to abrupt close for the White House Blue Devils in the Class 4-A quarterfinals at home, falling to Giles County 34-10.

Bailey Burns rushed 22 times for 104 yards and a touchdown, and Taylor Wood led the defense with 19 tackles, becoming the all-time career leader in stops at White House with 368. But the efforts by the seniors were not enough against a high-powered Bobcats attack that was missing its key tailback and running back.

Instead, Giles County turned to quarterback Trevor Holder, who completed 6-of-12 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown, and ran 16 times for 56 yards and three scores in the victory. White House also uncharacteristically turned the ball over twice, leading to touchdowns both times.

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