By Karl Hawes for The Tennessean
WHITE HOUSE White House was the visiting team in its own stadium Friday evening, suffering a 14-7 loss to White House Heritage.
Five takeaways from the Blue Devils’ season-opening loss:
The game marked the first time in school history that someone besides former White House Heritage head coach Pat Brown patrolled the sidelines for the Patriots. Brown stepped down last year after leading the Patriots for their first 14 years of existence. He handed the reins over to first time head coach Hunter Hicks.
“When I woke up this morning, my wife told me to enjoy the day because it will be my last first game ever, so I enjoyed the entire day,” Hicks said.
White House Heritage (1-0) was able to dominate the line of scrimmage as they rushed the ball 46 times for a total of 153 yards. They were led by senior running back Chris Rippy, as he accounted for 127 yards from scrimmage.
“Rippy is a workhorse,” Hicks said. “He’s a workhouse in the weight room and he’s been a workhouse ever since I’ve known him.”
Rippy’s backfield partner, Tommy Baker, opened the scoring from 2 yards out to give Heritage a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
After the Patriots’ initial score, the Blue Devils used seven plays on their next drive to cover 71 yards. It ended with a 58-yard connection from sophomore quarterback Andrew Nixon to classmate Cameron Casanova, who out maneuvered Patriot defensive back Zach Capello deep for the tying score.
The Blue Devils were only able to muster three first downs in the second half but were able to threaten late in the third quarter thanks to a 39-yard hard run by senior tailback Preston Long. However, White House was unable to convert a fourth down inside the Patriots 30 yard line. That’s as close as they would get the remainder of the game.
“I thought they made fewer mistakes than we did and came ready to play,” White House head coach Jeff Porter said. “We were behind the sticks too much in the game and I’m sure they had a lot to do with that.”
Rippy’s touchdown before halftime gave the Patriots a 14-7 lead, which held up the rest of the contest as neither team was able to muster up points in the second half.