By Zach Womble for The Gallatin News
GALLATIN – White House quarterback Ranen Blackburn showed out in a big way Friday night, establishing himself as one of the best playmakers in Sumner County as the Blue Devils defeated Station Camp 28-12.
Blackburn, the team’s returning running back, moved to play quarterback against the Bison allowing Montrel Black to take over as starting running back.
The two combined for over 350 rushing yards with Blackburn tallying 250 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Blackburn also threw for a score to Reece McAfee late in the second quarter.
The victory for the Blue Devils is their second in as many years over the Class 6A Bison.
“We are thankful any time we get a chance to play the greatest game there is,” White House head coach Ryan Hamilton said of what it means for his program to knock off the Bison in back-to-back seasons.
“We have two exceptional running backs on our team with one playing quarterback (Blackburn), but we have a great football team, and we can’t do anything without our offensive line and our team, and we are just thankful for every chance we get.”
Facing 3rd down on their second possession, Blackburn broke loose for an 84-yard touchdown scamper to give the Blue Devils an early 7-0 lead.
The touchdown came after Blackburn initially looked down, but credit the junior for playing through the whistle.
“Without the offensive line blocking the way they did tonight, my teammates and I wouldn’t have been able to do anything, so without them tonight isn’t possible, so I’m thankful for those guys,” Blackburn said of his performance.
Leading 14-0 with 9:29 left in the third quarter, White House defensive lineman Parker Hollinsworth found himself in the right place at the right time as Blake Lancaster’s throw slipped out of his hands due to the rain, landing in Hollinsworth’s claws leaving #75 to rumble 30 yards for the score.
Station Camp responded with back-to-back touchdowns from Ray Davis, bringing their deficit to only nine with nearly nine minutes to play, but a Blackburn 62 yard touchdown seemingly put the nail in the coffin.
The Bison’s three turnovers, coupled with big plays given up on defense and costly penalties, are all that head coach Brent Alexander hoped he wouldn’t see in his first game.
“You can’t give up big plays; you can’t turn the ball over, all the catastrophic things you say you can’t do pretty much happened,” Alexander said. “Coming into the game, I was worried we wouldn’t show our potential, and that is the most disappointing feeling walking off the field. White House is a good team, but we didn’t do what we are capable of doing.”
Coach Alexander will have to wait at least another week to try and secure his first victory as Bison head coach as the Green Wave come rolling into Bison Stadium next Friday night.
Both sides highly anticipate the Battle for the Mayor’s Cup, and after a 50-0 beat down last year at the Wave Yard, the Bison are hoping to return the favor in 2020.
“Rule number one is we have to learn from this and let it go,” Alexander said. “Our biggest challenge as coaches is getting them to forget about this game and continue to pour all of our focus into ourselves. If we can play to our potential, we will feel good next week.”
The Bison and Wave will square off at 7 p.m. at Station Camp High School.
The Blue Devils will take their 1-0 mark into their home opener against Trousdale County next Friday night.