Third-Ranked Whitehouse Strong in All Three Phases + Defeats Nacogdoches, 43-21
NACOGDOCHES -- Whenever the subject of Whitehouse football is brought up, standout quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Wildcats offense is usually the conversation-starter.
But on Friday night, Whitehouse excelled in all three phases.
The Wildcats dominated both lines of scrimmage, scored on a safety and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown in a 43-21 win over Nacogdoches in a key District 16-4A battle at Dragon Stadium.
Mahomes still put up numbers. The Texas Tech commit completed 18 of 39 attempts for 258 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 75 yards and another score, but it was a punishing ground game that dictated tempo.
Playing without starting running back and leading rusher Vincent Dunning, who was lost for the year with a knee injury during last week's win, Whitehouse (8-0, 3-0) turned to junior running back Dominique Hollie. The bruising runner finished with a career-high 103 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries as the Wildcats racked up 230 yards on a season-high 43 carries.
Jake Parker led the Whitehouse receiving corps with five catches for 127 yards.
Whitehouse's defense played physical the whole night, racking up 14 tackles for loss, including a second-quarter safety that changed the complexion of the game. The special teams unit came up big as well, returning a blocked punt for a touchdown and using a long kickoff return to set up a touchdown in the Wildcats' 30-point second quarter.
Nacogdoches junior quarterback Bryce Matthews, in his third career start after replacing the injured Hunter McClellan, led the Dragons (6-2, 2-1) on offense. He rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 105 yards and another score. Running back Coronado Tolbert added 63 yards on 15 carries.
Nacogdoches scored on Matthews' 18-yard run at the end of the third quarter to close the gap to 36-21, but Whitehouse essentially put the game away with an 11-play scoring drive that was capped by Hollie's 3-yard touchdown with 8:39 remaining.
With Whitehouse leading 14-7 early in the second quarter, the Wildcats' defense helped ignite a run of 15 consecutive points when Kaleab Shackelford sacked Nacogdoches quarterback Bryce Matthews in the end zone for a safety.
The Whitehouse special teams unit took center stage on the ensuing kickoff when sophomore Shemar Smith returned it 45 yards to the Nacogdoches 35, which set up his own 5-yard touchdown that gave the Wildcats a 22-7 lead. Nacogdoches went backwards on its next series as Whitehouse had tackles for loss on three consecutive plays. On the fourth down, the Wildcats blocked the punt and Chris Reese picked up the loose ball and scored from 11 yards out as Whitehouse built a commanding 29-7 lead.
Matthews helped Nacogdoches pulled to within two touchdowns by rushing for 53 yards on the Dragons' next drive, ending on the quarterback's 12-yard touchdown run. But Whitehouse responded with a six-play, 58-yard drive concluding with a Mahomes 3-yard scoring run for a 36-14 lead the Wildcats took to halftime.
No. 3 Whitehouse 43, Nacogdoches 21
Dragon Stadium, Nacogdoches
Whitehouse 6 30 0 7 -- 43
Nacogdoches 7 7 7 0 -- 21
WHI--Dominique Hollie 9 pass from Patrick Mahomes (kick failed), 10:20.
NAC--Reed Watson 15 pass from Bryce Matthews (Rudy Fuentes kick), 6:17.
WHI--Ryan Cheatham 4 pass from Mahomes (Cheatham pass from Mahomes), 11:46.
WHI--Safety, Kaleab Shackelford tackles Matthews in end zone, 10:54.
WHI--Shemar Smith 5 run (pass failed), 9:21.
WHI--Chris Reese 11 blocked punt return (Colby Crim kick), 6:54.
NAC--Matthews 12 run (Fuentes kick), 4:45.
WHI--Mahomes 3 run (Travis Blackburn kick), 3:07.
NAC--Matthews 18 run (Fuentes kick), :15.
WHI--Hollie 3 run (Crim kick), 8:39.
First Downs 31 17
Total Yards 488 332
Rushes-Yards 43-230 45-227
Passing Yards 258 105
Comp.-Att.-Int. 19-38-0 6-12-0
Punts-Avg. 2-34.5 3-41.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-50 4-40
RUSHING--Whitehouse, Dominique Hollie, 14-103, Patrick Mahomes 16-75, Shemar Smith 8-39, Ryan Cheatham 3-15, Chris Blaylock 2-(-2). Nacogdoches, Bryce Matthews 24-142, Coronado Tolbert 15-63, Ronnie Roberts 3-19, Sam Morgan 2-3, La'Tavion Forest 1-0.
PASSING--Whitehouse, Mahomes 19-38-0--258. Nacogdoches, Matthews 6-12-0--105.
RECEIVING--Whitehouse, Jake Parker 5-127, Coleman Patterson 3-24, Cheatham 3-23, Hollie 3-19, Jaylon Dews 2-30, Smith 2-25, Drew Smith 1-10. Nacogdoches, Morgan 3-67, Reed Watson 2-26, Ken Rogers 1-12.