Stifling Defense Leads Whitehouse to 28-14 Win Over Chapel Hill [VIDEO]
TYLER -- The Whitehouse Wildcats' defense lost containment on two plays, but that's about all it did wrong Thursday night.
Whitehouse overcame a couple of long touchdown runs, and put the clamps down on Chapel Hill for the most of the Wildcats' 28-14 win at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Chapel Hill sophomore quarterback Khalan Griffin raced for scoring runs of 58 and 98 yards in the first and fourth quarters, but that was all the Bulldogs' offense could muster against Whitehouse domineering defensive line.
Clayton Cook rushed for 114 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Jake Clemons connected with junior receiver Cameron Cantrell for a 32-yard touchdown to lead the Whitehouse (2-0) attack.
Clemons, who was briefly knocked from the game after being roughed while attempting to punt, finished the night 19 of 30 passing for 138 yards with the touchdown and an interception.
“The thing I liked is we played with some toughness," said Whitehouse coach Adam Cook. "To see Jake Clemons take some of the shots that he took is a huge step in the progress I’ve seen from him over the past two years.”
Cantrell, who has already committed to Texas Tech, caught seven passes for 71 yards.
For the second consecutive week, Whitehouse failed to eclipse 300 yards of total offense. But that didn't matter.
Aside from Griffin's long touchdowns runs, the Wildcats limited Chapel Hill (1-1) to a measly 11 yards of offense.
The Wildcats' starting defensive line, consisting of Mitchell Melrose, Trevor Lawrence, Christian Owens, and Darius Trimble, controlled the line of scrimmage for most of the night.
“The defensive front played really, really well, and (Chapel Hill’s) quarterback is pretty good," Coach Cook said. "A couple of those plays were just busted where we over-pursued, and one of them was him just making a play. We knew that this was going to be a big battle, but I’m excited about coming away with a victory.”
Chapel Hill running back Hunter Branin, who rushed for more than 200 yards in last week's defeat of Wills Point, had just 26 yards on nine carries Thursday. Demarcus Attaway, who caught four touchdowns in Week 1, had only one reception for four yards.
The start couldn't have been much better for Chapel Hill, which took a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game on Griffin's 58-yard run.
Bulldogs cornerback Montel Hood then intercepted Clemons on the ensuing drive, and the Chapel Hill defense proceeded to force punts on Whitehouse's next two possessions.
The momentum shifted to Whitehouse late in the first quarter when a bad snap on a Chapel Hill punt attempt gave the Wildcats a first-and-goal at the 9-yard line. Cook's 4-yard scoring run two plays later tied the game, 7-7.
“That was huge for us, and that was something that we’d seen," Coach Cook said. "They struggled in their last game with some snaps, and we said all week that we were going to block punt or something big was going to happen. It was kind of a confidence deal or a momentum thing that got us rocking and rolling.”
Chapel Hill's defense rose to the occasion on the next series, forcing a fourth-and-28 situation from midfield. But a roughing the punter penalty, which forced Clemons to the sideline for the remainder of the drive, extended the series for Whitehouse.
Cook's second 4-yard touchdown gave Whitehouse a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
Clemons returned to the field on the Wildcats' next series, and engineered an eight-play, 79-yard scoring drive that ended with his 32-yard pass to Cantrell, giving Whitehouse a 21-7 lead it carried into halftime.
The next touchdown didn't occur until the 7:49 mark in the fourth when Cook muscled his way into the end zone from 10 yards.
“I wish we’d have been able to come out in the second half and been able to sustain a longer drive," Coach Cook said. "We went three-and-out that first series, and it seemed like that third quarter just flew by.”
Griffin's 98-yard touchdown two Chapel Hill possessions later capped the scoring with 3:22 remaining.
The Bulldogs unsuccessfully tried an onside kick, and Whitehouse milked all but 12 seconds off the remainder of the clock.
Both teams' seasons resume next Friday night. Chapel Hill travels to Tatum (1-0), while Whitehouse plays host to Carthage (1-0), the state's No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A.
“The way (our defensive line is) able to play and get after that offensive line is huge for us," Coach Cook said. "We moved Mitchell Melrose, who was probably our best offensive lineman last year, to the defensive side. Those front four for us are going to be really big for us next week to stop the running game of the Carthage Bulldogs.”
Whitehouse 28, Chapel Hill 14
At CHRISTUS TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
Whitehouse 7 14 0 7 -- 28
Chapel Hill 7 0 0 7 -- 14
CH--Khalan Griffin 58 run (Javier Estrada kick), 10:26.
WHI--Clayton Cook 4 run (Cooper Clemons kick), 2:24.
WHI--Cook 4 run (Clemons kick), 6:47.
WHI--Cameron Cantrell 32 pass from Jake Clemons (Cooper Clemons kick), 2:02.
WHI--Cook 10 run (Cooper Clemons kick), 7:49.
CH--Griffin 98 run (Estrada kick), 3:22.
First Downs 20 8
Total Yards 298 215
Rushes-Yards 42-138 36-203
Passing Yards 160 12
Comp.-Att.-Int. 23-34-1 3-13-2
Punts-Avg. 5-29.4 6-38.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 6-55 9-100
RUSHING--Whitehouse, Clayton Cook 25-114, Javian Myles 13-37, Flint Herrington 1-(-4), Jake Clemons 3-(-9). Chapel Hill, Khalan Griffin 22-204, Hunter Branin 9-26, Elijah Demus 3-0, Team 1-(-27).
PASSING--Whitehouse, Clemons 19-30-1--138, Herrington 4-4-0--22. Chapel Hill, Griffin 3-13-2--12.
RECEIVING--Whitehouse, Cameron Cantrell 7-71, Kendrion Johnson 6-35, Seth Dolan 3-18, Cameron Johnson 3-15, Brandon Bullard 2-11, Jackson Cook 1-6, Blake West 1-2, Clayton Cook 1-0. Chapel Hill, Quinzarius Daniel 1-15, Demarcus Attaway 1-4, Robbie Williams 1-(-7).