Whitehouse’s ‘Death Row’ DBs Have Been Lethal to Opposing Offenses
WHITEHOUSE -- Whitehouse senior safety Colby Campbell has a nickname for the Wildcats' ball-hawking secondary.
"The motto of the defense is Death Row, so when you come to Whitehouse and play against us, it’s like going to Death Row," he said. "Because you’re not getting off it.”
And so far Campbell and his Whitehouse teammates haven't given any of their opponents a reprieve, bringing a 9-0 record into Friday's regular-season finale against second-ranked John Tyler.
“I think the level of our secondary this year is kind of like a no-fly zone," Campbell said. "If you throw the ball, it’s going to get picked, or if you throw the ball it’s going to get knocked down."
Campbell speaks the truth. Whitehouse has forced opposing quarterbacks into 19 interceptions this season.
The Wildcats' starting secondary is composed of Campbell and sophomore Justin Dunning at the safeties, and junior Isaiah Burton and sophomore Nate Brooks at the two corner spots. The foursome have combined for 14 interceptions.
Dunning (6-3, 185) leads the team with five picks, and has perhaps the highest ceiling of the group. He took over the position this season after last year's safety, Patrick Mahomes, switched to offense, where he's led a prolific Wildcats passing game from the quarterback spot.
"Justin Dunning ran the hurdles in track and in the spring he won district in the hurdles as a freshman," Whitehouse coach Randy McFarlin said. “We got by with Patrick as a safety (last year). I’ll be honest, we knew Patrick wasn’t a safety.
"He could play the pass but he wasn’t physical, and he’ll tell you that. With Justin walking in, we’ve got a kid that can play the pass plus he’s very physical."
As well as Whitehouse's secondary has played to this point, it will be presented with its toughest test of the season Friday night against Greg Ward, Fred Ross and John Tyler's high-powered passing game.
Ward has completed 135 of 198 passes (68 percent) for 2,150 yards and 25 touchdowns. More importantly, the Houston commit has yet to throw an interception.
“That’s going to be a great battle because they know we’re not going to stop, and they’re not going to stop trying to score points," Burton said.
Added McFarlin: "We have some good athletes, don’t get me wrong. But we’ve got to contain Ward and not let Fred Ross beat us. We’ve got to make those other kids beat us."
If Whitehouse is able to knock off the Lions, the Wildcats will continue the best season in school history by going undefeated in the regular season for the first time.
"This game is probably the biggest in school history, even back to the playoff game in the third round against Waco in ‘06," McFarlin said. "This game gets your program over the hump and into that elite status. It’s great for the kids and great for the community, just great for everyone concerned.”
Brooks' future career as a car salesman may depend on it.
“It would mean a lot, just about as equal to winning state," he said. "During the summer, we were selling cars and some people bought them and said, ‘Better beat JT.'"