Patrick Mahomes + Deep Receiving Corps Fuels Best Start in Whitehouse History
There have been some big-time performers in the Whitehouse passing game over the last several seasons.
Everyone from current Stephen F. Austin quarterback Brady Attaway and the school's all-time passing leader Hunter Taylor to Oklahoma wide receiver Trey Metoyer and two-time 1,000-yard wideout Jonathan Aldridge.
But this year's components of the Wildcats' aerial assault rank near the top, according to head coach Randy McFarlin.
“All year long we’ve said that our receiving corps is as deep as it’s ever been," he said. "We’ve even got kids that don’t see the field that are better receivers than we’ve had in the past."
It all starts with junior quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who began the year in a rotation with fellow junior Ryan Cheatham. After splitting QB duties through the first two games, Mahomes has come into his own as the starter.
On the year, he has passed for 1,686 yards and 18 touchdowns.
“He’s done an excellent job of assuming control of the offense and he’s making good decisions," McFarlin said. "His ability to extend plays is incredible.”
Mahomes, a multi-sport athlete whose father is former Major League pitcher Pat Mahomes, doesn't run often. But when he does, he's just as deadly with his feet.
In the Wildcats' 38-33 win over Sulphur Springs last month, Mahomes ran for 105 yards and three touchdowns. But it's not like he abandoned the passing game, throwing for 403 yards and another TD.
Making everything a bit easier for Mahomes is his receiving corps, which goes a legitimate four-deep. Dylan Cantrell, Jake Parker, Coleman Patterson and Jaylon Dews certainly share the wealth.
Cantrell, a Texas Tech commit, leads the group with 34 catches for 637 yards and seven touchdowns. But the other three pass catchers have at least 22 receptions.
“Depth in the receiving corps helps out a lot," Mahomes said. "We have four good receivers this year. I knew Jake, Coleman and Jaylon were going to be a good, and of course I knew Dylan would be good with him committing to Texas Tech so early. I’ve played every sport with Jake, Coleman and Jaylon since the seventh grade, so I knew they’d put up big numbers.”
Sure, defenses can and have game planned to stop Cantrell. But how will they account for the other three?
“It’s great to know that when I see a receiver manned up, I can throw it in there and they can make a play on it," Mahomes said. "The defense can’t just focus in on one guy.”
Added McFarlin: “If they’re going to double somebody it’s going to be Dylan. If he gets tight coverage and put a guy deep on him, that allows us to get the ball to one of the other guys. Some of those games, Dylan hasn’t had big numbers. In our offense, the reads tell our quarterback what to do with the football. (Cantrell's) presence on the field definitely makes the other receivers better.”
While Whitehouse's passing game, which averages almost 340 yards per game, has certainly helped in fueling the Wildcats' historic 6-0 start, Mahomes also credits an improved defense.
During last season's 5-6 season, the Wildcats allowed 43.5 points per game, opposed to just 21.7 in 2012.
“I think we’re playing exceptionally well this year and lot of that has to do with our defense," Mahomes said. "I knew our offense had a lot of playmakers, but we’re defending a lot better this year.”
Whitehouse (6-0, 1-0) faces Jacksonville (3-3, 1-0) on the road Friday in District 16-4A play.