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Whitehouse’s Justin Dunning Out for Season with Knee Injury

Whitehouse’s Justin Dunning. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Class 4A No. 5 Whitehouse’s 42-34 victory against Lake Tyler rival Chapel Hill on Thursday came at a hefty price.

Junior safety standout Justin Dunning, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury, suffered a torn ACL, according to multiple sources.

Dunning obviously did not return to the game. Trainers wrapped his left knee and he finished watching the game on crutches from the sideline. Senior Jake Parker, who caught eight passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns from his receiver spot, played some safety once Dunning left the game.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Dunning already holds offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech.

He had a breakout sophomore season in 2012, when he recorded 61 tackles, five interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and five pass breakups. His 6-foot-5 1/2 measurement in shoes, 40.4-inch vertical jump, and 4.41-second laser-timed 40-yard dash at the May 19 ETSN.fm Football Recruiting Combine at APEC training facility in Tyler quickly caught the attention of recruiters.

The secondary was one of Whitehouse’s greatest strengths entering the 2013 season. Losing Dunning is no doubt a huge blow to that unit, but the Wildcats boast several players who have extensive experience at the cornerback and safety positions.

Junior cornerback Nate Brooks holds Louisiana Tech and North Texas offers, while senior cornerback Isaiah Burton sealed Whitehouse’s win Thursday night with an interception in the final minute. Senior safety Jamal Kennedy also has plenty of experience, and first-year head coach Adam Cook has other options to help out the secondary, such as Parker, if needed.

Senior middle linebacker Reggie Long will also need to continue his strong play for the Wildcats’ pass defense. The 6-foot, 220-pounder had an interception in each of Whitehouse’s first two games, including one against Chapel Hill that came off a Brooks deflection.

Whitehouse visits Sulphur Springs next Friday.

 

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