By Kris Freeman for White House Football
PORTLAND — A pair of second-half scoring drives put the Portland Panthers in control for the stretch run in a rain-soaked 14-7 victory over White House in the 2014 Alumni Football USA game Saturday night at Edgar Johnson Stadium.
A deep Portland roster proved to be the ultimate difference as the Panthers rotated a fresh set of backs in the third quarter on a 12-play, 70-yard drive to tie the game. Portland’s roster of almost 50 players played a significant role in second-half conditioning as White House rotated 26 players and lost at least three to injury.
Meanwhile, Portland strengthened as the game went forward.
Chuck Siniff rushed three times for five yards in the game, but his hand off from Brandon West ended in the end zone and Kevin Eakes tied the game at 7-7 with an extra point. Siniff’s two-yard scoring run was with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter.
On the play, White House lost starting tailback Bryan Dixon to a precautionary injury to check for a concussion. Dixon was playing defensive back and collided with Siniff in the end zone. Dixon rushed 13 times for 48 yards and gave White House a 7-0 lead with 1:38 left in the first quarter when he dove into the left corner of the end zone on a nine-yard run. Chris Hale kicked the PAT.
But the Blue Devils were shut out the final three quarters and struggled to complete passing routes in a heavy rain for the entire game. Quarterback Gordon Keene was 6-of-20 for 73 yards, with Hale, Ryan Mash and Gordon’s brother Robert Keene all catching two passes.
With the weather, there were 10 fumbles in the game. White House lost two out of six and failed on a fourth down on a fumble. In fact, the Blue Devils ended three straight drives in their own territory with fumbles.
Facing a punt opportunity on the first play of the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils fumbled the snap and Portland took over for the game-winning scoring drive.
Derek Boyd was the leading rusher in the game with seven carries for 67 yards and he broke a 13-yard run on second down after Portland took over at the White House 19 with 14 minutes to play in the final period.
West scrambled on second and goal and was slammed to the wet grass on a hard lick by Hale at the two, but Josh Jones scored on the next play, giving Portland the lead. Brent Long added the extra point for a 14-7 edge with 12:08 to go in the game.
White House fumbled its next two possessions, with Tom Latimer knocking the ball loose from Hale at the 48, recovered by Chase Brooks. Then, after a 30-yard punt by Long, Keene fumbled on 3rd-and-7 with Lynch knocking the ball out and Latimer recovering.
The Panthers milked the clock, including a big 10-yard run by Boyd on 4th-and-6 at the 33 with 2:19 left. White House expired its timeouts and Daniel Mounts stopped Latimer for no gain at the 17 with nine seconds left.
The Blue Devils threw twice incomplete before Hale caught the final pass of the game from Keene and gained 15 to end the game at the 27.
White House led in total offense, 176-161 and held the football for 33:44 to Portland’s 26:16. The Devils converted just 3-of-15 on third down and 5-of-9 on fourth down, while Portland moved the chains just 2-of-10 on third down and 2-of-5 on fourth down.
The game was sponsored by Alumni Football USA and is a fundraiser for both schools football programs. The large crowd benefitted both schools with pre-sale tickets. The TSSAA, White House High School or Portland High School are not officially involved in the event, which is promoted and sanctioned by Alumni Football USA.
RUSHING – (WH) Bryan Dixon 13-48-1, Gordon Keene 10-27-0, Dean Misch 12-26-0, Josh Leloup 2-6-0, Chris Hale 1-0-0, Clint Frye 1-0-0. (P) Derek Boyd 7-67-0, Josh Jones 10-41-1, Anthony Lynch 8-34-0, Trevor Jackson 2-7-0, Chuck Siniff 3-5-1, Jordan Freeman 1-4-0, Chase Brooks 1-3-0, Travis Graves 2-2-0, Tom Latimer 2-0-0.
PASSING – (WH) Gordon Keene 6-20-73-0-0, Ryan Mash 0-1-0-0. (P) Brandon West 1-4-13-0-0.
RECEIVING – (WH) Chris Hale 2-35-0, Robert Keene 2-29-0, Ryan Mash 2-9-0. (P) Greg Harper 1-13-0.
PUNTING – (WH) Gordon Keene 2-36-18.0. (P) Brent Long 3-58-19.3.
KICKING – (WH) Field Goals 0-0. PAT Chris Hale 1-1. (P) Field Goals 0-0. PAT Kevin Eakes 1-1. Brent Long 1-1.
DEFENSE – (WH) Tackles: Jonathan Duke 6, Stephen Fontaine 6, Andrew McGregor 6, Michael Connor 5, Josh Leloup 5, Bryan Dixon 4, Ryan Mash 4, Chris Hale 4, Daniel Mounts 4, Landon Tate 3, Jeff Lewallen 2, Justin O’Guin 2, Eddie Carrigan 2, Dean Misch 2, Austin Smith 2, Robert Keene 1, Bob Parks 1. Sacks: Dean Misch 1-(-10). (P) Tackles: Tom Latimer 7. Sacks: Adrian Crabtree 1-(-1).
KICK RETURNS – (WH) Chris Hale 2-26-0, Landon Tate 1-22-0. (P) Ryan Johns 2-19-0.
PUNT RETURNS – (WH) Chris Hale 2-6-0, Stephen Fontaine 1-8-0. (P) Brandon Jones 1-11-0.
TOTAL OFFENSE – (WH) Rushing 42-103-1, Passing 6-21-73-0-0, Total 176. (P) Rushing 42-128, Passing 1-4-13-0-0, Total 161.
PENALTIES – (WH) 7-58. (P) 2-20. TURNOVERS – (WH) 0 INT, 6 Fumbles, 2 Lost. (P) 0 INT, 4 Fumbles, 0 Lost.
CONVERSIONS – (WH) First Downs 13, Third Down 3-of-15, Fourth Down 5-of-9. (P) First Downs 11, Third Down 2-of-10, Fourth Down 2-of-5.
Note: Stats are unofficial and will not be corrected by film. Weather conditions may have affected overall stat tabulation.