GAMECENTER: Maplewood 14, White House 6
By Kris Freeman, White House Football
EAST NASHVILLE – Fourth down kept White House in the game and gave the Blue Devils a chance to extend the season, but ultimately it was also fourth down which proved to be the final offensive play for WHHS in a 14-6 loss at Maplewood.
A 14-play drive came to a screeching halt in the red zone with 33 seconds left to play as senior Steven Rankin’s pass was incomplete and contact at the point of the play drew no penalty in the defensive secondary. Maplewood ran out the clock for the eight-point win.
White House was 4-of-6 on fourth down, including two long completions during the drive, and Maplewood was 0-for-4 on fourth down including two midfield stops which gave the Blue Devils a chance.
Maplewood advanced to the Class 4-A playoffs as a third seed to play Lipscomb Academy, and White House missed the playoffs for the first time in 24 years. The 1991 team was the only other White House squad of Jeff Porter to miss the postseason in his 29 years as a head coach.
“I am proud of our kids,” Porter said. “The meaning of Blue Devil Pride is what they exhibited to the very end tonight. We did not quit, they fought, and we faced a lot of adversity this season and had a chance to the very last drive of the season.”
Rankin completed 11-of-29 passes in the game for 114 yards, but three interceptions and a lost fumble proved costly for White House, despite a slight advantage in time of possession for the game.
But the Devils were slowed on the ground, gaining just 42 yards on 30 carries and Rankin was sacked four times in the contest.
Senior Luke Hopkins caught six passes for 56 yards to lead all receivers. Seniors Ricky Townsend, Noah Burden, Logan Trimmer, Austin Grissom and Denis Schaffer all caught one pass and Brian Mullins picked off a Maplewood pass.
Junior Ronald Honeycutt led the rushing attack with 26 yards on seven carries.
Trimmer tied a White House single season record with two field goals, giving him 12 for the year. His 38-yarder put White House on top, 3-0. The Blue Devils missed an early scoring opportunity in the red zone when a fourth down play was tipped away, as Hopkins tried to find Rankin on a reverse pass in the corner of the endzone, but the fourth down pass never made it past defending Bo Bo Hodges.
White House also had a touchdown taken off the board when Hopkins was flagged for offensive pass interference.
Trimmer then connected on the kick after a Mullins interception.
Maplewood took the 7-3 lead in the second quarter when Bo Bo Hodges found his brother, freshman Bo Hodges, for 12 yards in the corner on a fade route. Marlon Zelaya kicked the extra point.
Jeremy McDowell gained 84 yards on 23 carries and extended the lead to 14-3 in the third quarter with a 3-yard run.
Trimmer knocked down a 40-yard kick in the fourth quarter after Townsend blocked and recovered a Maplewood punt.
Jake White made 11 tackles for the defense, and fellow seniors Tanner Jordan and James Whitby had 10. Whitby and Jordan led the team for the season in tackles.
Trimmer and Angel Bonilla also ended their career with nine tackles each on defense.
Trimmer ended the season leading the Devils in receiving, scoring, kickoffs, field goals and extra points and punting.
The season ended for White House after five straight trips to the Class 4-A quarterfinals and 23 consecutive trips to the playoffs.
“This senior class played 49 games and they were one game short of having a whole extra season worth of games on their schedule,” Porter noted. “This may not have ended the way we hoped, but they have a lot to be thankful for and our young kids have a lot to build upon.”