GAMECENTER: White House 30, Macon County 15
By Kris Freeman, White House Football
LAFAYETTE – White House vaulted right back into the playoff race Friday night with an authoritative hammer, jumping out to a 23-point lead against Macon County on the road for a 30-15 win.
Continuing to get more healthy each week, the Blue Devils struck early in quarterback Steven Rankin’s second game back from injury. After missing senior receiver Luke Hopkins on a deep pass on the first play for the Blue Devils, he went back to the same style throw an a 79-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
This came after Macon County drove the length of the field and threw an interception in the endzone to start the game. Quarterback Seth Carlisle rushed 19 times for 95 yards, but completed just 6-of-15 passes with three interceptions by White House seniors Brian Mullins, Hopkins and Tanner Jordan.
“This was a big win,” said White House head coach Jeff Porter. “We still have a lot of work to do, but it was nice to see the intensity level where it needed to be tonight, and I am really proud of our kids.”
White House is 4-3 and 1-2 in the region, in a three-way tie with Portland and Macon County. The Panthers beat White House, but still have to play Macon.
Rankin completed 8-of-14 for 161 yards and two touchdowns, the second one coming to Logan Trimmer. The senior kicker and tight end had an incredible all-around game for the second week in a row.
Trimmer was 3-of-5 on field goals with a long of 45, and a potential school-record length was blocked near the end of the game from 53 yards out. He also punted once for 35 yards, kicked off seven times with five touchbacks and 414 yards total, and caught five passes for 84 yards.
His 32-yard score made it 14-0 with 3:30 left in the first quarter after junior Connor Holder pancaked a Macon County defensive back at the 10-yard line.
He also had five tackles and sack on defense.
His field goal made it 20-7 before the half and the Blue Devils extended the lead to 30-7 before Macon County scored and went for two in the fourth quarter. The onside kick attempt with 4:59 remaining was recovered by senior fullback Austin Grissom.
Preston Long added a 28-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and finished with 85 yards on 17 carries. Landon Deming rushed 13 times for 75 yards.
The Blue Devils finished with 331 yards of total offense and held Macon County to 277, but field position and turnovers ultimately played the biggest difference. Seven of the 10 Macon County drives started inside the 23-yard line.
“When you have a kicking game that can force the opponent to start at the 20-yard-line, that makes a big difference,” Porter said. “Limiting our turnovers and excelling in the kicking game are critical to us being successful.”
The Blue Devils take a week off and then return home to play Region 5-4A leader Pearl-Cohn, who ended the season for White House in the Class 4-A quarterfinals in Nashville last year.
White House has three games remaining, against Pearl-Cohn, Page and then at Maplewood. To have a chance at the postseason, White House needs to beat either the Firebirds or the Panthers. Page is a non-region game.
“We have a tough road ahead and have to use this week off to prepare for perhaps the toughest team on our schedule,” Porter explained. “Their record is not indicative of how good of a football team they (Pearl-Cohn) are. They have played some of the best teams in our state and in Alabama, and this will be a tremendous challenge.”