Devils dominate Panthers on the road in week one
By Kris Freeman for White House Football
PORTLAND – White House opened the 2014 season with a 35-6 victory at Portland Friday, jumping out to a five-touchdown lead and holding the Panthers under 100 yards of total offense until a late 82-yard run in the fourth quarter to break the shutout.
Portland (0-2) struggled to move the football and became its own worst enemy in the home opener, committing 14 penalties for 138 yards. All but one of the yellow flags (holding) was for unsportsmanlike conduct or illegal procedure. The Panthers were penalized four times on special teams, three of which for late contact and another on the coaching staff.
White House had 270 yards of total offense, moving the chains seven times on 12 third downs and committing just five penalties for 25 yards. Sophomore Ronald Honeycutt gained 104 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown in his first start at tailback, and Josh Flynn rushed 13 times for 71 yards and two scores.
“We played well tonight, and that’s reflective of how well we prepared,” said White House head coach Jeff Porter after the game. “How you play should be how you practice and the effort we put on the field tonight was a result of how we got ready this week. I am proud of our kids. They played hard.”
The big play of the night came just one minute into the game.
Senior Chris Baldwin for White House stepped in front of a Chris Greer pass at the Panthers’ 41 and broke three tackles on his way to the endzone for an interception return for a touchdown. Dillon Anderson, a preseason All-State selection at kicker for Class 4-A, made the PAT for a 7-0 lead. Anderson missed a 27-yard field goal and made three PATs, but left the game injured in the fourth quarter on a personal foul when three Panthers collided with him on an attempt to block a kick.
The Devils extended the lead to 14-0 before halftime after a Portland punt, driving three plays and 40 yards for the two touchdown lead. Caleb Huffines caught a 34-yard strike to set up first and goal, but the play was called back on a penalty.
Sophomore quarterback Steven Rankin decided to go right back to the air, and Huffines this time made a brilliant grab in the same spot for a 41-yard touchdown catch. Rankin completed 6-of-14 for 84 yards in the game, however White House receivers had four drops.
Honeycutt and Flynn both scored in the third quarter, then Flynn added his second trip to paydirt to make it 35-0 in the fourth. Portland’s Emmanuel Johnson broke for 82 yards and the only Panther touchdown, but Kyle Kraemer blocked the extra point.
Baldwin finished the game with four tackles, an interception and a blocked field goal. Luke Hopkins and Trey Hyde made seven tackles for White House each, while Blaiz Phillips and Emmett shared a sack.
Portland was 0-of-9 on third down, and held the ball just 18 minutes of the game. Greer was 6-of-11 for 30 yards, and rushed 13 times for 24. Outside of the 82-yard run by Johnson, the Panthers had just 28 rushes for 34 yards and only 64 yards of offense.
The Panthers intercepted Rankin in the fourth quarter, but when Kemper Dixon made the grab at the Portland 37 on a deep pass, he returned it to the 44 when Luke Hopkins stripped the ball. Kraemer recovered it, and White House was in position for its final touchdown of the night.
The two-time defending District 9-AA champions open district play in week two when White House travels to Greenbrier, after beating the Bobcats 9-6 in overtime last season.
“This was a big football game, but it doesn’t compare with how important next week is for our football team,” Porter explained. “We have to have a good week of practice and be ready to play.”
White House now leads the overall series with Portland, 24-22, and has won 10-of-12 meetings with the Panthers.