White House advances to fifth straight quarterfinals
White House avenges playoff exit, dominates Bobcats
By Kris Freeman for The White House Connection
WHITE HOUSE – Junior tailback Trey Hyde carried on a proud White House Blue Devils tradition of running the football in the playoffs, and his teammates avenged a recent playoff loss with a 39-21 domination of Giles County in the second round.
After losing 34-10 in the 2013 Class 4-A quarterfinals, the Blue Devils ended this game early with a 19-0 halftime lead and never allowed Giles County to come close than three scores in the second half. Hyde rushed 29 times for 232 yards and two touchdowns, a season and career best, and ripped off a 56-yard run for his season high. Since taking over the tailback duties, Hyde has four straight 100-yard plus games.
The big rushing night was not a playoff record, but put Hyde among some elite company. He continues to be the team’s leading tackler on defense at linebacker and finished with six tackles, and helped force a sack in the end zone that resulted in a fumble.
“Trey is a tremendous football player, and the credit has to go up front to our offensive line who helped set the pace,” White House head coach Jeff Porter said. “When the playoffs begin, everybody is the same at 0-0 and you want to be playing your best football at this point in the season.”
The victory advanced White House to the Class 4-A quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive season, and 18th time in the quarterfinals since 1986. The round has been tough, however, as White House is just 6-11 in those games with wins in 1990, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2004 and 2008.
White House will play at Pearl-Cohn. The Blue Devils and Firebirds are tied 4-4 in the series all-time, but Pearl-Cohn owns both victories in the postseason. The two teams will be in the same region next season but have not played since 2008 when White House won 44-8. No team has won two straight in the series.
“When you reach this point in the season, you are playing among the best eight teams in the state and it’s expected that your competition will be tough,” Porter said. “There is nothing we can control but ourselves and our goal is to prepare well and have an opportunity at one more week of practice. That is what each win guarantees.
“To win this coming Friday night would mean Thanksgiving week together as a football team and that is a very important tradition to our program.”
Giles County opened the game Friday night with an impressive drive but tailback Jordan Tucker fumbled inside the White House 20-yard line, forced by Brian Smith and recovered by James Whitby. The Blue Devils responded with a 10-play. 87-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. Hyde scored his first touchdown from four yards away and Dillon Anderson booted the extra point.
The defense stepped up big on the second score of the night after Logan Trimmer’s punt pinned the Bobcats at the one-yard line. For the second week in a row, Caleb Huffines downed the ball inside the one after Luke Hopkins swatted it back into the field of play from the goal line.
The special teams play proved huge, as Trevor Holder dropped to pass and the ball slipped from his hand, with junior Blaiz Phillips recovering the fumble for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead with 3:43 left in the first half.
Trimmer made good on offense this time around after the Blue Devils forced a punt. On 3rd and goal from the two, the junior made an over-the-head grab in the left corner of the endzone from classmate Steven Rankin for a 19-0 lead. The two-point pass failed and that remained the intermission score.
Trimmer caught two passes for 38 yards in the game, punted twice for 93 yards with both kicks pinning the Bobcats deep, and had four tackles and a sack on defense.
Rankin completed 11-of-13 for 121 yards and a touchdown and scored on his own in the third quarter to extend the lead to 26-0 after a one-yard sneak.
Holder found Cameron Ordway for a 17-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 26-7, but Hyde responded with a 35-yard touchdown run to make it 32-7. Dontarius Gilbert returned the kickoff 93 yards immediately to cut it to 32-14, but White House put the finishing touches on the victory when Rankin escaped on a rare scramble from 18 yards away for his second touchdown of the night rushing.
Holder connected with Ordway for 12 yards and the final score of the night.
Luke Hopkins caught four passes for White House for 54 yards and Gavin Herrell had a big, 15-yard reception over the middle to set up a touchdown. Hopkins also led the defense with 12 tackles.
White House held the football for 32 minutes with 406 total yards, and held Giles County to 229. Holder was 10-of-19 for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Tucker carried for 64 yards to lead GHS in rushing.