Whitehouse Quarterback Collin Bullard Makes Case To Hold Onto No. 1 Spot
TYLER -- For now, Whitehouse is operating with a one-two punch at the quarterback position. For now.
Collin Bullard came off the bench for his first series of the night late in the first quarter and didn't leave until the game was well in hand. The senior helped the Wildcats rally from seven points down at the half to a 51-21 victory Thursday against Chapel Hill at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
"Coach (Adam) Cook told us it was going to be Tanner (Roach) for two drives and me for two drives," Bullard said. "After that, he'd roll with whoever was making the offense work. I came in and we scored on both of them, so we went off of that."
Whitehouse fumbled a successful Roach pass in the red zone on its opening possession and then punted away its next possession.
Bullard got the team on the board early in the second quarter with a 19-yard throw to Seth Dolan on the way to completing 23 of 36 passes for 394 yards and three touchdowns during his time in the game. He also ran for 48 net yards on six carries.
That helped Whitehouse (1-1) rally from a 21-14 halftime deficit for 37 unanswered points. The team also trailed 7-0 and 14-7 at points as Chapel Hill (0-2) quarterback Tanner Heckel briefly flourished in his first relief start for the injured Konnor Hitchcock.
Ten Wildcats players combined for 449 receiving yards in the game. Shemar Smith led the way with 113 yards on five receptions from running back and receiver spots.
"I think he changed the game big time," Smith said. "A lot of the times on third down, he'd scramble and either get it or find someone. He gave a lot of effort for us."
The win itself was a big one for Whitehouse. It got drubbed by Texas High last week, 48-20, and it looked like the team was in danger of dropping a second straight non-district game through the first half.
But the Wildcats' decision to defer the opening kick paid off in spades.
Bullard led the team on a drive that only took 2:31 off the clock and connected with Ashton Melton from 10 yards out to tie the game.
Less than three minutes later and with Chapel Hill respecting the pass, Whitehouse linebackers Braylon Shackelford and Khyree Key pounded the ball as power running backs to the Bulldogs' 1-yard line. Shackelford punched it in from there.
Bullard got back into the scoring mix again with an 18-yard throw to Isaac Little before the quarter was over. That upped the lead to 35-21.
Chapel Hill spotted the Wildcats a safety on its next possession and Whitehouse turned good field positioning on the ensuing kick into another seven points to seal the game early in the fourth quarter.
"It would have been bad to lose this one," Bullard said. "We needed to get this one to have something going forward. We've got Sulphur Springs next week. They should be good. They're always good. A week off after that and then district starts."
Roach, a junior, completed three of five passes for 35 yards before giving way to Bullard. He got in the mix as a receiver late and recorded a 13-yard gain on one catch.
Patrick Miner played the final minutes under center and found Isiah Clark for an 18-yard touchdown throw.
The old saying is, two quarterbacks are as good as zero. Whitehouse will ultimately have to make a decision as to who it's going to give majority reps with the starting offense.
Will a decision come before the Sulphur Springs game?
"Collin played a great game," Cook said. "I think he was able to learn a lot of things. The card that I'm going to play is to say, 'He's got to continue to come out and compete.' And he knows that. He definitely did some things tonight to prove that he's worth a start."