Blue Devils earn first playoff shutout since 2008
Turnovers turned to points vault WH into second round
By Kris Freeman for The White House Connection
WHITE HOUSE – November in White House carries a common theme: the grass turns brown, the leaves fall, the temps drop and the Blue Devils win a playoff game.
For the 19th time in 23 consecutive trips to the postseason, White House advanced to the second round with a 35-0 dominating shut out of Creek Wood. Trey Hyde rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns and had 10 tackles on defense, and Chris Baldwin created three turnovers which all led to touchdowns with a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery.
“We had a really good week of practice and it showed on the field tonight,” said White House head coach Jeff Porter after the game. “It really was a solid ball game and I thought our defense played great.
“Our linebackers and our defense really did a good job Tuesday and Wednesday of practice this week and our kids implemented a great plan by our coaches, and that’s a credit to them. We were ready to play tonight.”
James Whitby led the White House defense with 17 tackles and a fumble caused, and despite allowing 277 total yards, it was the first playoff shutout since 2008 (Chattanooga East Ridge) and 2004 (Overton), and only the third playoff shutout since 1989.
White House (7-4) returns home Friday with a 2013 playoff rematch with Giles County (5-6), who upset top-seeded Marshall County. Giles County is 3-0 all-time against White House but the Blue Devils are 17-5 in the second round since 1986 including four straight trips to the Class 4-A quarterfinals.
Giles County defeated White House in the third round just 51 weeks ago.
“The main thing is, we are going to back to the practice field and be thankful we get another opportunity this week,” Porter said. “We have to go to work and be ready to play next Friday night, and we want to thank the fans who braved the cold to come out and support the team tonight and I want to thank all the people behind the scenes who give us an opportunity to be successful when it comes playoff time.”
Creek Wood’s Ian Spence was both the quarterback and the punter for the Red Hawks, and both positions affected the team following turnovers. Four times, White House turned miscues into points and a fifth ended the game.
On the opening drive for Creek Wood, after Caleb Huffines downed a Logan Trimmer punt at the one yard line, Spence had a punt blocked. Brennan Harshaw broke pressure for the Blue Devils on the punter and then Emmett Cannon got a hand in the air to deflect the kick.
The seventh block of the year on special teams set up a two-play drive from 15 yards away. Trey Hyde carried both times, the second for six yards to give White House a 7-0 lead on the Dillon Anderson kick. The second touchdown was methodical.
Hyde and his teammates stopped a short pass on fourth down at the Blue Devils’ 25-yard-line and then White House drove nine plays and 75 yards with Hyde scoring on a 10-yard, powerful run. The halftime lead was 14-0.
In the third quarter, Baldwin picked off Spence at the 47 and returned it seven yards, and Huffines made a brilliant left-handed catch on his outside arm and sprinted for the 40-yard touchdown. Anderson nailed another extra point for a 21-0 lead.
It took just one play to get the ball back. As tailback Kyle Klotz stepped to the right side of the line, Whitby darted in from linebacker and punched the ball out toward the sideline. Baldwin picked it up and was driven into the visitor sideline fence on the recovery. White House scored on the fourth play when Rankin pushed it across on the quarterback sneak for a 28-0 edge.
After a punt by Creek Wood, White House threw an interception when Spence picked off Rankin on a diving grab at the 7-yard-line. But in three plays, Baldwin took it back, and the Blue Devils scored in seven plays and 49 yards when Ronald Honeycutt returned from injury for a 23-yard touchdown.
Huffines intercepted Spence on the final play of the game inside the White House 10-yard-line to preserve the shut out.
White House had 309 yards of total offense and Rankin completed 6-of-11 passes for 96 yards and a score. His touchdown to interception ratio is 5:1 with his 15th touchdown pass to just three picks. Spence completed 8-of-22 for 108 yards and three picks.
The Red Hawks were balanced rushing with six players each carrying at least four times for 175 yards on 33 rushes. Matthew Davids broke the lone run over 20 yards and had 55 on four rushes.
Honeycutt rushed 10 times for 65 yards and Huffines caught three passes for 73 yards and Trimmer two for 21.
Tanner Jordan had eight tackles and a pass break up and Denis Schaffer made seven stops and broke up two passes.