Today is Wednesday, October 18, 2017

White House blanks Portland in rivalry game

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One of the biggest plays of the game. Facing a 4th and short, White House is bailed out by a roughing the kicker allowing White House to keep possession late in the fourth quarter. RANDY DIXON
Somehow this was called pass interference on Portland. Egregious.
Seth Bumbalough carries for the Blue Devils.
Preston Sharber is gang tackled by a slew of Panthers at the line of scrimmage.
Preston Sharber makes a move to the outside gaining positive yards.

zwomble@mainstreetmediatn.com

PORTLAND - Portland's defense was almost enough to break White House's perfect season, but the Blue Devils strung together just enough points for a win. The 6-0 win goes down as the lowest-scoring game in the series history.

The Panther defense rose to the occasion all night long, forcing three Blue Devil turnovers and two turnover-on-downs, but it was the offense that struggled to put the ball in the end zone.

All three defensive interceptions came at crucial times for the purple and white.

Bryce Dowlen secured the Panthers first interception of the night on the Blue Devils first possession. Midway through the first quarter, facing third down, the Panther rush forced a high throw where Dowlen made the play at the Panther 2-yard line, ending the Blue Devil scoring threat.

Cody Whitfield ended the Blue Devils' scoring drive when he intercepted a pass to give his offense possession inside its own 25 in the second quarter. Kobe Dutcher ended the half with an interception, returning the ball 45 yards before being tackled out of bounds.

"Records don't mean anything when you come into this game," White House coach Jeff Porter said following the win. "We knew Portland would give great effort tonight and we knew we had to play with great effort in order to give us a chance. Our kids did that, we moved the football, but couldn't get in the end zone. I think one thing that worked to our advantage tonight was creating a long field to work with all night."

White House scored the game's only touchdown in the second quarter after a long punt return by Seth Bumbalough gave the Blue Devils excellent field position at the opposition's 4-yard line. Needing just one play, White House tossed left to Carter Hunt for a touchdown, just seconds into the second quarter.

The win for the Blue Devils marks their 25th in series history and their sixth-consecutive win to start the season. The loss drops Portland to 2-5 overall and 2-2 in Region 5-4A play.

The Panthers did not turn the football over against White House, but inefficiency at critical times really cost the purple and white against their heated rival.

The White House defense protected what small lead they had. On the Panthers' eight possessions, six ended in punts and the other two ended in a turnover-on-downs. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Portland's starting quarterback Caleb Mandrell exited the game due to injury causing former starter, Brandon Meador to enter the ball game for the first time since his car accident earlier in the season.

The Blue Devils take the field a day earlier than usual on Thursday night, when they head to another big rivalry game at Heritage at 7 p.m.

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