By Craig Harris for The Tennessean (FULL ARTICLE LINK …)
PORTLAND – White House senior defensive back Chris Baldwin returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown in the opening minute, and the Blue Devils never looked back in Friday night’s 35-6 victory over rival Portland at Edgar Johnson Stadium.
“It was really what got the game going,” Baldwin said. “There’s nothing better than making a statement that early to get the team going.”
Then in the final minute of the first quarter, White House (1-0) scored when junior quarterback Steven Rankin threw a pass down the sideline to senior wide receiver Caleb Huffines for a 40-yard touchdown.
“It was basically driving inside (on the pass route) and going outside shoulder,” Huffines said. “The quarterback hit me right in the hands. It was just a good pass.”
Portland (0-2) produced just three first downs and compiled just 75 total yards through the first three quarters.
The Panthers trailed 35-0 when sophomore tailback Emmanuel Johnson broke free for an 80-yard touchdown run with 3:36 remaining.
Portland was penalized 14 times for 138 yards.
Trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, Portland junior Kemper Dixon ran for 30 yards on a fake-punt attempt, but it was negated by a holding penalty.
Then, in the final minute of the half, Baldwin blocked Portland senior placekicker Mason Denning’s 43-yard field-goal attempt.
“In practice, we are clicking on all cylinders,” said Portland first-year coach Greg Cavanah, whose program has lost 14 consecutive games. “We look pretty good against the kids that go against us in practice. In a ballgame, it’s a whole different story.”
White House scored on the opening possession of the second half, which started at the Portland 41-yard line thanks to junior Luke Hopkins’ 35-yard kickoff return.
White House junior tailback Josh Flynn capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run, and he scored the final touchdown on a 9-yard run.
White House sophomore tailback Ronald Honeycutt also had a 5-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.