Devils clinch home playoff game, stay unbeaten
By Kris Freeman, Sports Information Director, White House High School
WHITE HOUSE — The Blue Devils opened up a sluggish game in the third quarter with two big plays and held off a pesky Montgomery Central team for a 30-10 victory Friday night.
With the Indians closing the gap to 16-10 in the third, White House quarterback Andrew Nixon had a second down pass batted down by Brandon James and nearly intercepted. On the very next play, he connected with Will Frazer on an 82-yard screen which busted for a score down the visitor sideline.
White House forced a fumble recovered by Elijah Zweydorff at the Indians 39, and Nixon hit Brett Drake for a 39-yard score for the eventual final. No one scored in the fourth.
“Our backs were really against the wall right there, probably for the first time since the Portland game,” White House head coach Jeff Porter said. “We did not do a good job of flipping the field tonight, and we weren’t able to get a short field for the offense, even though we did have three turnovers from them. So if we don’t convert right there, they likely get it at midfield with all the momentum.”
White House (9-0, 5-0) clinched a home playoff game in the first round of the playoffs, but travels to Greenbrier in week 11 for the final regular season game. The Bobcats lost to Springfield, 28-14, but the region title has yet to be decided. White House controls its own destiny, but Greenbrier could win the region with a win over White House and a Springfield loss to Creek Wood.
If Springfield wins or White House wins, the Blue Devils are the region champions either by tiebreaker or outright.
“We struggled, and let’s give Montgomery Central credit, they played one of their better games this year,” Porter said. “But our kids still found a way to win the ball game. I don’t think we look at next week any different than we have the other nine games. We are just trying to prepare to win a game and Friday night after it’s over, we will figure out who we are going to play.
“The kids have done a good job all year staying in the moment and I don’t think next week will be any different. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Greenbrier and they have pretty well handled us the last two years, so we have our hands full.”
White House had 346 yards of total offense with Nixon completing 7-of-17 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Kevin James also caught a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Frazer rushed 16 times for 75 yards and caught two passes for 75 yards, while Preston Sharber rushed eight times for 65 yards and Nixon scored on a quarterback sneak. Drake caught three passes for 85 yards and a score.
Montgomery Central was held to 252 yards, but mounted a scoring drive in the third quarter after kicking a field goal at the end of the first half. They trailed 13-3 at the intermission and cut the margin to 16-10 with a six-play, 64-yard drive for a touchdown.
Ben Dawson was 2-of-8 passing for 15 yards with an interception, but rushed 10 times for 53 yards and Chance Burge rushed 13 times for 94 yards. All but 15 yards of the Indians offense came on the ground.
“Montgomery Central did what we worked on in practice this week, and I thought they did a good job of execution,” Porter said. “Until we watch the film, it’s hard to comment and see what we can evaluate and do better for next week.”
White House got 12 tackles from junior Eddy Walker and eight each from Zweydorff and Tyler McMurtry. James had an interception.
White House scored first to lead 7-0 on its second series of the game, driving four plays for 79 yards. After Sharber broke loose on a 35-yard run, a personal foul put the ball at the 15 and James caught the touchdown pass.
White House drove 10 plays and 36 yards after a fumble recovery and scored on a two-yard quarterback sneak, but the two-point pass by Nixon was incomplete for a 13-0 edge.
Michael Lobdell connected on 36-yard-field goal with one second left in the second quarter.
“The last drive of the half was big, you could sense the momentum they took off the field and into halftime,” Porter said. “Even though we scored first in the second half, they drove very methodically down the field to cut it to one score.”
The Blue Devils drove 11 plays and 61 yards to open the second half, but had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Jacob Harper for a 16-3 advantage.
Montgomery Central responded with its best drive of the night, and had all the momentum with a defensive stand underway at the White House 23. Facing 2nd-and-7, James swatted down a Nixon pass and it fell to the ground incomplete. The Devils were penalized for delay of game, but Nixon rolled left and found Frazer on a throwback screen right for 82 yards and a score.
Zweydorff forced and recovered the fumble on the next drive, and Drake reversed field to run between two defenders for a 39-yard touchdown catch.
White House missed a field goal in the fourth quarter.