By Kris Freeman for Main Street Preps
WHITE HOUSE – Homecoming at Dewey H. Whitson Stadium was a case of two teams moving in opposite directions, and Watertown did the same on the field with explosive plays and big gains in a 41-0 shutout of White House.
The Blue Devils (1-4) were shut out for the first time since 2016 to Pearl-Cohn (48-0), and the first time at home since Smith County in 2012.
Watertown (5-1) rolled to 416 yards of total offense, including a 90-yard pass from Brandon Watts to Quanterrius Hughes-Malone, and added three defensive turnovers and a pick six.
Hayden Dicken put the Tigers on the board on the second play of the game, leaping to snag a Bryce Hill pass out of the air on second down at the 30-yard-line and racing to the end zone to make the score 7-0 less than a minute into the game.
The defense also held standout White House running back Ranen Blackburn to 70 yards on 20 carries, the first team all year to keep the junior under 100 yards. Blackburn completed 2-of-5 passes for 49 yards, and Dylan Frary completed the first pass of his career for 33 yards to Austin Beeson. Hill had one completion for eight.
But the Devils could not muster any momentum on the offensive side of the ball and finished with 159 yards of total offense and a combined 1-for-11 on third and fourth down.
On the opposite side of the field, the Purple Tigers were in sync all night, minus a lone fumble when Montrel Black stripped Jordan Cason and Cole Pitt recovered. Otherwise, Watertown was on cruise control with Brayden Cousino passing 7-of-8 for 84 yards, and Cason rushing 13 times for 67 yards and a touchdown. Dicken gained 41 yards on the ground, Cousino added 48 and a score, and Jordan Carter and Kwame Seay both found the endzone for a total of four rushing touchdowns.
After the Dicken-returned interception for a score, White House punted, and Watertown drove 69 yards in nine plays to make it 14-0 with five minutes left in the first quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Cason.
Cousino added a 33-yard keeper for a touchdown with 10:16 remaining in the second, and White House went to the locker room down 21 after forcing a fumble before the half.
The Tigers marched 58 yards on five plays to start the second half, with Carter scoring from 16 yards away, but Cousino was injured later in the third and left the game with Watts taking over at quarterback.
Leading 28-0, the Tigers were backed up on their own 10-yard line after a punt when Cousino threw a three-yard out to Hughes-Malone in the left flat, and the speedy receiver made a couple of defenders miss and raced to the end zone. Trey Pack’s fifth kick of the night gave Watertown a 35-0 lead and enforced a running clock.
White House turned it over on downs, and Watertown marched the final three minutes of the game and scored on the final offensive play, when Seay added a five-yard run.
Hughes-Malone ended the game with three catches for 108 yards and Watts caught two for 51. McAfee led the Blue Devils with two receptions for 49 yards, including the highlight reel catch of the night on a 26-yard throw from Blackburn.
Matthew Miller led the defense in his first start with eight tackles and Rhys Blackburn had seven stops.
The Blue Devils return to Region 5-4A play Friday night when Portland visits White House at 7 p.m. Watertown also heads back into region play and goes home to welcome Westmoreland.