Defensive Touchdowns Make the Difference in Whitehouse’s 52-42 Win Over Chapel Hill
TYLER -- "Defense" isn't exactly the word you think about when it comes to a game with 94 total points, but two defensive plays made all the difference for Whitehouse on Friday night.
The Wildcats scored two defensive touchdowns less than eight minutes apart in the second quarter and used a dominant running game in the fourth to take a 52-42 win over Lake Tyler rival Chapel Hill at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
In a wild, back-and-forth affair, Whitehouse (2-0) scored twice in 11 seconds in the second quarter and rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. An 18-yard touchdown run by Vincent Dunning with 1:46 left put the game out of reach, giving Chapel Hill (0-2) its second loss to start the season.
Whitehouse only had 31 yards on the ground entering the fourth, and the Wildcats' normally explosive offense was flat and held scoreless in the third quarter. But Whitehouse put all its focus in its running game in the fourth, using big runs from Dunning, Chris Blaylock and Dominique Hollie to wear down Chapel Hill's defensive front.
Blaylock added a 29-yard touchdown run before Allen threw one of his three touchdowns, this one to Drew Smith to give the Wildcats a 45-35 lead with 6:34 left.
Chapel Hill responded with a 67-yard kickoff return by Kenyotta Henderson, followed by a 13-yard touchdown run by Reggie King, one of his four total scores in the game. But the Bulldogs couldn't move the ball after a Whitehouse punt, seeing their drive end on a sack deep in their own territory. That's when Dunning went 18 yards for a touchdown to seal the deal.
"We got in our heavy set and were able to control the clock a little bit," Whitehouse coach Adam Cook said. "We put the ball in those running backs’ hands and they did a great job."
Chapel Hill had the lead twice in the second quarter, the first at 15-10 after King scored on a 7-yard pass from Konnor Hitchcock.
But Whitehouse responded with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Allen to Shemar Smith on its first play of the ensuing drive. Eleven seconds later on Chapel Hill's second play, a fumble was booted from the 21-yard line into the Chapel Hill end zone, where Nic Costlow jumped on the ball to put the Wildcats up 23-15 with 9:13 left in the half.
But Chapel Hill didn't lay down. The Bulldogs scored twice -- the first on an 8-yard run by King and the second on an acrobatic 36-yard touchdown catch from Zach Walters from Hitchcock, who airmailed the ball off his back foot into Walters' leaping hands in the front corner of the end zone.
The Bulldogs had a 29-23 lead and the ball after forcing Whitehouse into a three-and-out with less than a minute into the half. Nate Brooks picked off Hitchcock on the second play and returned the ball 53 yards to the house, giving Whitehouse a 30-29 lead at the break.
"The defense had a great effort. They were in there for a lot of plays," Cook said. "In the third quarter when we kept going three-and-out and couldn’t get anything going, we were asking them to do a lot and they did. They made some big plays. I’m glad to get the win."
Allen finished 15-of-27 passing for 246 yards and three touchdowns, and Dunning led Whitehouse on the ground with 17 carries for 114.
Hitchcock was accurate for Chapel Hill, completing 21 of 29 passes but threw two picks. He finished with 229 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Whitehouse held Chapel Hill's rushing attack to less than 3 yards per carry.
"I was very proud of our kids and the toughness they showed. I feel like we’ve got a chance as we grow up throughout these next three non-district games," Chapel Hill coach Thomas Sitton said. "I think our kids showed a lot of heart. I think they saw a glimpse of who we might could be if we continue to work our butts off in practice, study the game and learn our positions to play better."
Whitehouse 52, Chapel Hill 42
At Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, Tyler
Whitehouse 10 20 0 22 -- 52
Chapel Hill 8 21 6 7 -- 42
CH--Reggie King 11 run (Zach Walters pass from Konnor Hitchcock), 9:28
WHI--Eric Munoz 11 pass from Jackson Allen (Colby Crim kick), 4:12
WHI--Crim 36 FG, :04
CH--King 7 pass from Hitchcock (Austyn Fendrick kick), 9:38
WHI--Shemar Smith 75 pass from Allen (Crim kick), 9:24
WHI--Nic Costlow 0 fumble return (kick failed), 9:13
CH--King 8 run (Fendrick kick), 5:38
CH--Walters 36 pass from Hitchcock (Fendrick kick), 1:59
WHI--Nate Brooks 53 interception return (Crim kick), :33
CH--Fendrick 30 FG, 9:11
CH--Fendrick 43 FG, :23
WHI--Chris Blaylock 29 run (Collin Bullard run), 10:48
WHI--Drew Smith 15 pass from Allen (Crim kick), 6:34
CH--King 13 run (Fendrick kick), 6:07
WHI--Vincent Dunning 18 run (Crim kick), 1:46
First Downs 14 24
Total Yards 420 365
Rushes-Yards 26-174 53-136
Passing Yards 246 229
Comp.-Att.-Int. 15-27-0 21-29-2
Punts-Avg. 6-38.2 4-37.8
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 3-1
Penalties-Yards 6-65 9-65
RUSHING--Whitehouse, Vincent Dunning 17-114, Chris Blaylock 4-32, Dominique Hollie 4-28, Jackson Allen 1-0. Chapel Hill, Jacob O'Neal 12-52, Michael Bledsoe 11-42, Reggie King 8-35, Deundre Phillips 5-13, Jabraylon Franklin 5-11, Jeffery Minor 3-(-1), Konnor Hitchcock 7-(-3), Team 2-(-13).
PASSING--Whitehouse, Allen 15-27-0--246. Chapel Hill, Hitchcock 21-29-2--229.
RECEIVING--Whitehouse, Trent Williams 6-83, Eric Munoz 4-41, Drew Smith 3-28, Shemar Smith 2-94. Chapel Hill, King 5-37, Zach Walters 4-61, Minor 4-44, Phillips 3-40, Cole Williams 3-28, Franklin 2-19.