Devils shut out Harpeth for second straight year
By Kris Freeman for White House Football
WHITE HOUSE – The playoff picture in District 9-AA remains just as messy as the field conditions were Friday night, but White House took a step in the right direction with a 35-0 victory over Harpeth.
“We needed a win in the worst way,” said White House head coach Jeff Porter after the game with a steady, soft rain falling on the field. “Obviously, falling the last two weeks presented a pretty challenging scenario for us and we needed to bounce back after two losses in a row.”
In the first of three consecutive home games, the Blue Devils pounded the Indians with 393 total yards and an even distribution of the offense. Junior quarterback Steven Rankin completed 9-of-15 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, while Ronald Honeycutt rushed 21 times for 142 yards and a score.
Trey Hyde was the star of the game on both sides of the ball, scoring three touchdowns on offense with nine carries for 33 yards and two runs into the endzone, plus a 30-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass. Hyde also led the defense with nine tackles, two for losses, and is the leading tackler for the season for the Blue Devils.
“Give the kids credit,” Porter explained. “They made the plays tonight and we jumped out early. We needed a win and I am very proud of our kids.”
The defense was also solid. Harpeth gained 180 yards for the game, but 72 of those came on a pass from Jett Brinkley to Drake Fullum in the fourth quarter to set up first and goal. White House preserved the shutout when Hyde swatted away a jump pass from Walker Weatherly intended for Brinkley in the endzone on fourth down.
Brinkley finished the game 9-of-24 for 118 yards and Fullum rushed four times for 33 yards, including a 27-yard run. The Indians had 76 yards on 19 carries, but made only 2-of-11 on third down.
White House sacked Brinkley twice, with Nick Rowell, Danny Stout, Blaiz Phillips and Kyle Cantrell sharing a half sack each. Luke Hopkins had seven tackles and a pass defended, and Rowell had six tackles including three for losses.
The Blue Devils lost the ball on downs on the opening possession of the game, but forced a punt and drove 79 yards on six plays with Hyde scoring from 11 and Dillon Anderson kicking the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
When Connor Holder partially blocked a Nick Evett punt, White House fumbled the ball away for the only turnover of the night but forced yet another punt. The Indians punted seven of the first eight drives of the game, with the only other possession ending the first half clock.
This time, White House marched 12 plays and 47 yards to the endzone with Honeycutt scoring the one-yard run and the two-point conversion after a penalty for a 15-0 lead in the first. With 40 seconds to go in the second quarter, Hyde caught a screen left from Rankin for 30 yards for a 22-0 lead after an eight-play, 83-yard drive.
The Blue Devils missed a field goal to open the third but then added touchdown drives of 10 plays and 70 yards and two plays for 45 yards. Hyde scored on a nine-yard run and then Logan Trimmer finished the scoring on a 40-yard touchdown catch.
Trimmer caught three passes for 55 yards, Hopkins snagged three for 53, Hyde one for 30 yards, and Caleb Huffines made a diving catch in the first quarter for 35. Troy Raymond rushed five times for 32 yards.
White House hosts Westmoreland Friday in a battle for sole control of second place in District 9-AA. While White House Heritage remains unbeaten, both the Devils and the Eagles have one loss – each to the Patriots.
“We have work to do,” Porter said. “There is still a lot of season left and lot to be decided. They (Westmoreland) are a really good football team and really well-coached and they are going to come in here next Friday night and be ready to be play.
“This is a big game next week and we have to get to work immediately.”