Blue Devils seize momentum in fourth quarter at Greenbrier
By Kris Freeman for The White House Connection
GREENBRIER – A missed extra point kept the game tied with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but it was White House which seized all the momentum in a 32-18 win at Greenbrier.
The Blue Devils’ Troy Raymond and Ronald Honeycutt broke touchdown runs of 34 and 29 yards, respectively, in the final three minutes to seal the game after Greenbrier marched the length of the field to tie it, and missed its second point-after of the game.
Leading 12-10 in the third quarter, Greenbrier’s Christian Warren had an attempt blocked by James Whitby. But with the chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter, Warren booted the point after wide left to keep it 18-18. Greenbrier had captured the flow of the game with an impressive 15-play, 80-yard drive to knot the score when Paul Gonser rumbled in from seven yards out.
“We are very fortunate to get out of here tonight with a win, but I give our kids credit for fighting, and our coaching staff for making some adjustments at halftime because we couldn’t stop them,” White House head coach Jeff Porter said. “We have to have our A-game every week, and we have to be mentally mature and that’s the area we have to get better in.
“I hope we use tonight as a learning experience and continue to get better, and we are glad to be 1-0 in the district and move on to a tough game next week.”
White House (2-0, 1-0) played like a two-time District 9-AA champion in the final six minutes, taking control in just five plays. Junior Steven Rankin had a huge night with a couple of touchdown bombs to Josh Mullins of 70 and 84 yards, but his biggest two throws of the night came with under 5:00 to play.
Rankin connected with Caleb Huffines for 12 yards and a first down, then Luke Hopkins for the same. Two plays later, Raymond was set up as a fullback, offset right, and sprinted untouched through the defense as the Bobcats read the tailback. Raymond’s first career touchdown gave White House a 25-18 lead.
Greenbrier went three and out and a short punt put the ball at the 29, where Honeycutt sealed the win by breaking three tackles on a touchdown run on the first play. When Logan Trimmer booted his third extra point, Greenbrier’s Paul Gonser was ejected for targeting holder Hopkins on the extra point.
After a 15-yard penalty, Trimmer kicked off from the 45 and the White House sideline celebrated as he booted the kickoff through the uprights and bounced it off the concession stand. The Bobcats ran out the clock for the final.
Greenbrier controlled time of possession, total yards and conversions. The Bobcats gained 381, held the ball for 31 minutes and had 18 first downs with 7-of-14 conversions on third down. But the Blue Devils won the game on big plays.
Warren had two field goals in the first half of 27 and 21 yards, the second of which at the buzzer before the intermission to give the hosts a 6-3 lead. But the visitors captured the lead on the first play of the third quarter.
Rankin struck Mullins in the middle of the field and the senior receiver sprinted for 70 yards for a 10-6 edge. But Greenbrier would respond, with a seven-play march for 65 yards. Hayden Boyles finished the drive with a big play of his own, a 41-yard score to regain the lead.
But at 12-10, Whitby broke through the defensive line untouched and swatted the PAT, and after an exchange of punts, White House had the ball at its own 16.
Mullins did it again, this time bolting down the right sideline on an 84-yard pass for his second touchdown. Rankin was 5-of-7 for 177 yards and Mullins had two of them for 154. Trey Hyde ran in the two-point conversion for the 18-12 lead.
When Greenbrier tied the game, the drive took over seven minutes.
“It’s always a dogfight with them, they are a well-coached team and they were not an 0-2 team even though that’s what the record said,” Porter explained. “They lost to a very good Springfield and Lipscomb team.”
Boyles carried 20 times for 147 yards and a touchdown, and Gonser rushed 19 times for 86 yards and a score. Bailey Young completed 3-of-5 passes for the Bobcats for 71 yards and an interception, and Cameron Grogan completed 3-of-4 for 62 yards. Trevor Cherry shared two sacks with Bailey Edwards and Brian Hankins.
White House finished with 301 total yards, and even though struggling to 1-for-6 on third down, the Blue Devils did not turn it over and played field position. Trimmer made all three extra points, kicked a 36-yard field goal, punted twice for 69 yards, and kicked four balls through the endzone for a touchback. Trimmer also had three tackles and a sack on defense.
Hyde led the defense with 17 tackles, followed by Whitby with 12, and Blaiz Phillips and Hopkins 10 each. Drezmond English and Nick Rowell split the second sack for White House and Hopkins had an interception to set up the first quarter field goal.
The Bobcats (0-3, 0-1) play Portland in week three, and White House comes to Dewey H. Whitson Stadium for the home opener against Lipscomb Academy.