Whitehouse Pulls Away In Second Half For 51-21 WIn Over Chapel Hill
TYLER -- Whitehouse's offense failed to find its footing in last week's season opener, and Thursday night's game wasn't looking much better through one half of play.
That's when the Wildcats took over -- on both sides of the ball -- with 37 unanswered points en route to a 51-21 triumph over Lake Tyler rival Chapel Hill in the first game of the 12th annual Trinity Mother Frances Football Classic at Rose Stadium.
Whitehouse (1-1), which was limited to just seven points through three quarters in its Week 1 loss to Texas High, seized control with a 23-point third quarter against Chapel Hill (0-2).
"It all comes down to execution, and getting rid of the penalties," said Whitehouse coach Adam Cook. "It looked like in the first half, some of the guys were wondering, 'can I do this, or not?' With us being young, I think that's the key: they've just got to play. Once they play and get more comfortable with what they can do (we'll be OK)."
The Wildcats rang up 629 total yards of offense on the night, and got 394 passing yards and three touchdowns from senior quarterback Collin Bullard, who has been competing with junior Tanner Roach for the starting job.
Whitehouse gained 302 first-half yards, but had just 14 points to show for it, as it headed into halftime facing a 21-14 deficit.
"There really wasn't anything schematically different that we did," Cook said. "In the end, it was just execution and the will to be successful."
Bullard, who was on the sidelines for Whitehouse's first two offensive series of the night, directed the Wildcats to two touchdowns on his first two drives in charge. He then led Whitehouse to touchdowns on the Wildcats' first four possessions of the second half.
He finished 23 of 36 passing, and added 48 rushing yards on six carries.
Whitehouse used senior speedster Shemar Smith at running back almost exclusively in the first half, then split him wide, putting juniors Braylon Shackelford and Khyree Key in the backfield in the second half.
Smith had five receptions for a team-high 113 yards, and added 31 yards on five rushing attempts. Shackelford, meanwhile, led Whitehouse with 69 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, while Key had five carries for 31 yards -- all in the second half.
"Shemar's kinda that scat guy," Cook said. "(Chapel Hill was) doing a lot of man coverage, and doing a lot of blitzing with the outside backer. When you put those other two guys in there, it's easier to call those inside runs. If you can find a gap with one of those guys, they're a little bit stronger. Having them to be able to come in there, I think that was big for us to be able to move the ball and get some positive yards going."
Ashton Melton caught six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, while Zach Parker hauled in five receptions for 76 yards for the Wildcats, who featured 10 pass-catchers on the night.
Chapel Hill, which was shut out for the time in nine years in last week's season opener, found a rhythm offensively midway through the first half with junior quarterback Tanner Heckel, who is playing in place of injured starter Konnor Hitchcock.
Heckel led the Bulldogs on three consecutive scoring drives in the opening half, all ending with touchdown passes. He finished 9 of 22 for 142 yards, which included an interception.
But the Bulldogs had serious difficulty moving the ball in the second half, picking up just 24 total yards and three first downs over the game's final 24 minutes.
"I was really frustrated (in the first half)," Cook said of his defense. "They're a great ball team, but they didn't score anything last week. And they had a 90-something-yard drive on us at one point. I just kinda challenged the defense to go out there and shut them out, and they were able to do that. I was very proud of the second-half effort."
With Chapel Hill leading 21-14 to begin the third quarter, Whitehouse marched 75 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 10-yard pass from Bullard to Melton, which tied the game at 21-21 with 9:29 remaining in the third.
Whitehouse's Zi Coffer intercepted Heckel on the ensuing possession, and returned the ball 32 yards to the Chapel Hill 43. A 40-yard completion from Bullard to Melton on third-and-17 set up Shackelford's 1-yard scoring run three plays later, which gave the Wildcats their first lead -- 28-21.
Chapel Hill's next offensive series fizzled, and Whitehouse widened its lead with a lightning-quick, six-play, 83-yard drive that took just 1:17. A 20-yard run by Key, followed by a 24-yard rush from Shackelford set up Bullard's 18-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Little, which gave Whitehouse a 35-21 lead with 1:36 remaining in the third.
A bad snap over the head of Bulldogs punter Austyn Fendrick resulted in a safety, and Whitehouse broke the game wide-open on its ensuing drive. Completions of 23 and 21 yards to Parker, and a 13-yard strike to Roach, led to a 2-yard scoring run by Clayton Cook early in the fourth.
Third-string quarterback Patrick Miner got in on the act on Whitehouse's next series, firing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Isiah Clark for the game's final score.
Chapel Hill took the game's first lead on its third drive of the night when Heckel connected with Deundre Phillips on fourth-and-2 for a 19-yard touchdown and 7-0 Bulldogs lead with 1:09 remaining in the opening quarter.
Whitehouse responded on the ensuing possession when Bullard hit Seth Dolan for a 10-yard touchdown, which tied the game at 7-7 with 10:38 to play until halftime.
Chapel Hill took to the air again on the following drive, re-taking the lead at 14-7 on a 64-yard scoring strike from Heckel to Kenyotta Henderson.
The Wildcats answered one series later. A 41-yard completion to Smith set up Shackelford's 2-yard touchdown on the next snap, which tied the game, 14-14, with 5:14 remaining in the half.
Chapel Hill marched 70 yards on its next series, taking a 21-14 lead on Heckel's 11-yard touchdown pass to Zack Walters with 2:02 to play in the second.
Both teams are action next Friday night. Whitehouse travels to Sulphur Springs, while Chapel Hill plays at Paris.
Whitehouse 51, Chapel Hill 21
At TMF Rose Stadium, Tyler
Chapel Hill 7 14 0 0 -- 21
Whitehouse 0 14 23 14 -- 51
CH--Deundre Phillips 19 pass from Tanner Heckel (Austyn Fendrick kick), 1:09.
WHI--Seth Dolan 19 pass from Collin Bullard (Eddie Godina kick), 10:38.
CH--Kenyotta Henderson 64 pass from Heckel (Fendrick kick), 7:53.
WHI--Braylon Shackelford 2 run (Godina kick), 5:14.
CH--Zack Walters 11 pass from Heckel (Fendrick kick), 2:02.
WHI--Ashton Melton 10 pass from Bullard (Godina kick), 9:29.
WHI--Shackelford 1 run (Godina kick), 5:59.
WHI--Isaac Little 18 pass from Bullard (Godina kick), 1:36.
WHI--Safety, ball snapped out of back of end zone, :06.
WHI--Clayton Cook 2 run (Godina kick), 10:13.
WHI--Isiah Clark 18 pass from Patrick Miner (Godina kick), 6:41.
First Downs 12 27
Total Yards 262 629
Rushes-Yards 39-120 32-180
Passing Yards 142 449
Comp.-Att.-Int. 9-22-1 28-44-0
Punts-Avg. 6-47.2 2-38.0
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 9-55 11-65
RUSHING--Chapel Hill, Adrian Miner 17-87, Ja'Braylon Franklin 11-27, Deandre Hordge 5-27, Tanner Heckel 5-(-5), Team 1-(-16). Whitehouse, Braylon Shackelford 8-69, Collin Bullard 6-48, Khyree Key 5-31, Shemar Smith 5-31, Clayton Cook 5-11, Zi Coffer 1-(-2), Patrick Miner 1-(-2), Tanner Roach 1-(-6).
PASSING--Chapel Hill, Heckel 9-22-1--142. Whitehouse, Bullard 23-36-0--394, Roach 3-5-0--35, Miner 2-3-0--20.
RECEIVING--Chapel Hill, Zack Walters 3-24, Deundre Phillips 2-31, Jaylon Redwine 2-29, Kenyotta Henderson 1-64, Miner 1-(-6). Whitehouse, Ashton Melton 6-93, Smith 5-113, Zach Parker 5-76, Isaac Little 3-30, Trent Williams 2-46, Seth Dolan 2-35, Isiah Clark 2-20, Roach 1-13, Jordan Mims 1-12, DeMontrae Else 1-11.