By Joel Clinger for The Robertson County Connection and Main Street Preps
The White House Blue Devils came into Friday night’s matchup with Fairview undefeated in Region 6-3A and left the same. White House gave the Yellow Jackets their first loss in the region with a 21-14 Homecoming win.
Both teams came to play, as both totaled over 300 yards of offense.
On the first drive of the game, the Blue Devils moved methodically down the field to score a touchdown via a Ranen Blackburn sneak. On the next play from scrimmage, Crawford Claxton carried the ball 71 yards for a touchdown tying the game.
That would be all the scoring in the first half as both defenses hung tough.
Early in the third quarter, Blackburn finally broke a run of his own, taking off for 40 yards and the score. Fairview responded early in the fourth with a long touchdown pass from Kennedy Pendergrass to Crawford Claxton.
White House had a chance to break the tie with a few minutes to go, but Reece McAfee fumbled inside the five-yard line, accounting for one of three Blue Devil turnovers.
The Blue Devils lost their momentum, but head coach Ryan Hamilton has prepared his guys for moments just like this.
“We talk about this with our guys all the time,” Hamilton said. “Adversity is going to hit. We have to welcome adversity. We have to understand what our game plan is, what our streaks are. We can’t let one become two.
“In everything that we do, we work together, take a deep breath, don’t let one become two, go back to work.”
White House got a stop and took over with 2:05 remaining in the game. Starting on their side of the field, the drive was jumpstarted by an Amarion Lucas catch-and-run that put them on Fairview’s 25-yard line. Blackburn took it from there, carrying the ball to the end zone with 43 seconds on the clock for the go-ahead score.
The Blue Devil defense held, and the celebration was on.
The win puts White House alone atop Region 6-3A in the driver’s seat for the region title, along with home field in the playoffs. Blackburn made it clear he and his team were not content with this win. Their goals can only be accomplished if they continue to play hard.
“We’ve got plenty more left in the tank,” Blackburn said. “We can’t let off the gas. We can’t let it get to our heads. We’ve just got to keep going.”
Fairview head coach Chris Hughes was straight-forward about the position his team is now in following the loss.
“We’ve dug (ourselves) a hole to win the region,” Hughes said. “Our chance to win the region just went way down, so now we got to get back, win every game, hope to get some help. We controlled our own destiny until tonight.”
Region 6-3A is now a log jam behind White House, as Fairview, Waverly and White House Heritage all have one loss. Stewart County has two losses to Fairview and Waverly. One of those teams will not make the playoffs.
“The region overall is a lot better than it’s ever been,” Hughes said. “I like that. I like the competition. I liked the game. The game was a good game. I just want to win that game.”
White House will have their bye this week before facing Stewart County on Oct. 15. Fairview will travel to Camden in their final non-region game before finishing up against Sycamore and Waverly.
Photos by Joel Clinger