By Kris Freeman for White House High School
SPRINGFIELD – A quick look at the stat sheet might seem favorable for the White House Blue Devils in Friday’s Region 5-4A contest at Springfield High School.
The Blue Devils had a pair of tailbacks over the 100-yard mark, blocked a punt for a touchdown and did not turn over the football and dominated time of possession.
Unfortunately, Springfield has senior quarterback Kevontez Hudson, and that flips the script.
Hudson accounted for six total touchdowns, passing 10-of-13 for 261 yards and three touchdowns, and rushing eight times for 92 yards and three scores in a 48-24 rout over the Blue Devils. Springfield (5-0, 2-0) stayed atop the region standings, while White House struggled and dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in region play.
Springfield ended the game with 484 yards of total offense and their only mistake was a blocked punt by Ranen Blackburn, which was returned 12 yards for a White House touchdown in the first quarter. This was after Hudson lost two bad snaps and backed up the Jackets to their own goal line before the special teams play by the Devils made it 7-6. But Springfield blocked the Bryson Harper extra point attempt, and White House never officially tied the game.
Every time the Devils got close, Springfield answered. Late in the second quarter, White House marched and scored when junior tailback Montrel Black found the end zone for the first of two rushing touchdowns. Adding a 35-yard field goal from Harper, White House cut the deficit to 28-16 with just over a minute to play in the half.
The Jackets wasted no time, driving 53 yards before the intermission to score and make it 35-16 at the half, then immediately took the second half kickoff on a drive to the end zone and it was 41-16.
White House junior tailback Ranen Blackburn rushed 21 times for 158 yards, and became the 14th tailback at White House to go over 2,000 career yards. He has four 100-yard games this season. Black also eclipsed the century mark for the second time, rushing 16 times for 129 yards and two scores, including a beautiful 42-yard gallop in the second half.
But White House struggled in the passing game, not completing any of six attempts, and then again found themselves in double digits with 11 penalties. The Blue Devils are averaging over 10 penalties and 100 yards in miscues per game.
Springfield struck first in the opening quarter on a 53-yard touchdown pass from Hudson to Gabe Kelly. Luis Diaz made it 7-0 with the extra point.
White House closed to 7-6 when Ferrell scored for the second time in as many weeks, picking up the blocked kick and rumbling to the right corner of the end zone. Ferrell also had a pick six last week against FRA. But the extra point was blocked.
Hudson extended the mark to 14-6 with 2:25 left in the first quarter on a 35-yard touchdown run and then Harper booted his first field goal attempt of the year to make it 14-9 with 7:50 to go in the second.
The next play was the biggest of the game, as Harper also connected on a touchback for the first time this season to back up the Jackets to the 20. Hudson found that to be no problem and simply slung an 80-yard touchdown pass to Kelly to make it 21-9.
Three minutes later, Springfield scored again with four minutes to go in the first half, as Lamarion Turner caught the roll out pass from Hudson for 20 yards and a touchdown and a 28-9 lead.
Black busted a 32-yard run with 1:49 left in the first half and White House tightened the game to 28-16 to end a four-play, 63-yard drive.
Springfield answered with a four-play, 53-yard drive and Hudson scored on a six-yard run for a 35-16 lead at the break.
Though the Jackets were great on big plays all night, the third quarter was an 11-play, 63-yard march to the end zone, taking 5:26 off the clock to make it 41-16 on Hudson’s third touchdown run, but Diaz only mistake of the night bounced off the left upright on the PAT.
The lead reached its biggest when Gabe Kelly scored on a 13-yard jet sweep to the left side. Kelly finished with three receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, and one rush for a touchdown. Springfield led 48-16. But that eight-play, 97-yard drive came after White House had marched 10 plays and 50 yards to goal line and failed on four plays at the one.
White House added a four-play touchdown drive in the fourth quarter when Black scored from 24 yards away and then added his own two-point run.
White House comes home Friday for the final non-region game of the year and faces Watertown at 7 p.m.