NASHVILLE – The White House Blue Devils will light up I-65 south Friday night with a road trip to neighboring Goodpasture in Nashville, hoping for a 2-0 start to the 2015 season and securing the 250th career victory for head coach Jeff Porter.
Once a region and district rivalry, the Cougars will welcome the Blue Devils in non-region play Friday. Goodpasture opened the season with a disappointing 47-0 loss to Battle Ground Academy, while White House knocked off city-rival White House Heritage. 28-7. The teams will square off on the field which overlooks the interstate outside of Madison.
Porter, in his 29th season, has a career record of 249-104. He is facing a long-time friend in new Goodpasture coach Jerry Joslin – the former head man at Gallatin, Cookeville and most recently Pope John Paul II. Joslin is 2-0 against Porter head to head, despite meeting on the scrimmage and practice field many times.
“We played well tonight, but we have a lot of things to work on and get prepared for next Friday,” Porter said after the opening week win. “And we are 0-for against Coach Joslin, and this is going to be a tough test for us.”
White House is 5-6 all-time versus Goodpasture. The Blue Devils dropped three straight heartbreakers from 2009-11 while in the same district before finally breaking the streak in 2012 with a 21-7 win. Those three losses were at the hands of standout quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who has advanced to star at the Naval Academy and become one of the leaders in total offense and scoring in NCAA FBS.
Reynolds, a senior, has led Navy to a 21-11 record in three years and his 64 career rushing touchdowns are the most by any quarterback in NCAA history. Before graduating in 2012, he was a two-time All-State quarterback at Goodpasture and 3-0 against White House. All three of those wins came down to the final play of the game by a combined seven points.
Since, the Cougars have struggled with a plethora of roster turnover and coaching changes. Long-time mentor David Martin is now at Stewart’s Creek and Joslin made the switch from Pope John Paul II to start this season. He was 10-21 in three seasons for the Knights but 97-63 at Cookeville.
Goodpasture struggled in week one, falling behind 35-0 at halftime to BGA. Quarterback Dylan Brooks was 8-of-14 passing for 33 yards, while backs Sam McCauley and Julius Elders combined for just 59 yards on 22 carries. The Cougars had just 95 yards of total offense and fumbled three times.
It was quite the opposite for the Blue Devils. White House rolled to over 400 yards of total offense and three huge plays in a 28-7 win. Trey Hyde carried for 156 yards and two scores including a 67-yard touchdown, and Preston Long added 97 yards on eight carries with an 87-yard score.
Senior quarterback Steven Rankin completed 6-of-13 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown, including a 61-yard strike to Luke Hopkins on the first play of the game. The senior caught three passes for 104 yards.
Senior linebacker Denis Schaffer led the White House defense with eight tackles, and the unit as a whole shut down White House Heritage for under 100 yards of total offense until a final scoring drive in the closing minutes. Hyde, the reigning Sumner County defensive player of the year, had five tackles at linebacker but picked off Heritage quarterback Austin Gunter for a 17-yard interception.
This will be the final tune up for White House before the Blue Devils come home in week three to open Region 5-4A against Portland.
Coach Porter ranks among the state’s elite in coaching wins. The all-time record is 362 by Ken Netherland of Germantown/St. George. The active leader is Gary Rankin of Alcoa with 331, and Benny Hammonds of Cocke County with 298.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Series History – Goodpasture leads 6-5 in 11 meetings.