WHITE HOUSE – Fighting off a 424-yard passing effort, the White House Blue Devils did what the team has done best all season in a 35-25 victory over Page in the first round of the Class 4-A playoffs.
Despite watching senior quarterback Zac Mizell move up and down the field in the fourth quarter, the Devils maintained a two-score lead and forced three turnovers, a failed fourth down and a missed field goal, all in the final 12 minutes. Mizell was 31-of-54 for 424 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The 10-point spread was critical, after Page missed a field goal with its only chance to tie at 21-18, then later fumbled a pass reception out of the endzone for a touchback. White House ranks among the best in Middle Tennessee in turnovers, scoring defense and red zone percentage.
“That’s certainly the best quarterback we have faced this year,” said White House head coach Jeff Porter. “Page was a good football team and their record was very deceiving. But our kids played hard tonight and we made plays, and we get an opportunity to go back to the practice field on Monday.”
But White House held its own on the offensive end, scoring five touchdowns individually Alex Lyon, Alex Felts, Wesley James, Trey Hyde and Ryan Pool. Pool scored on a one-yard sneak, and hit James on a 22-yard route. Hyde barreled through four tackles for a six-yard score.
Felts and Lyon were a bit more dramatic in the effort, both rushing for over 100 yards in the same game. It was the first time a White House backfield combo pulled off the feat since DeMarqus Payne and Bryan Dixon did it three times in 2007.
Felts carried 23 times for 103 yards. He scored a fourth quarter touchdown to make it 35-18, but fumbled at the four and landed on his own mishap in the endzone for a touchdown, after being tackled and jumping onto the ball.
Lyon burst through earlier in the fourth quarter for a 57-yard run, racing eight times out of the Wildcat formation for 144 yards and a touchdown.
White House also completed 6-of-9 passes for 91 yards between three quarterbacks. Pool was 2-of-4, Lyon was 3-of-4, and Luke Hopkins surprised the entire opposing sideline with a fake punt pass to Josh Mullins to set up Hyde’s touchdown run in the third quarter. The play marked 37 yards.
For the defense, Taylor Wood had 11 tackles. Mullins added 10, an interception and two pass break-ups, while Lyon made five stops and broke up three passes.
Senior Tyler Ellis forced a Page fumble, knocking loose the ball recovered by Wood in the fourth quarter. Ellis later read a bubble screen and blew up a potential pass completion when hit he Tyler Thieman chest high and knocked the ball loose.
Denis Schaffer had nine tackles and forced the fumble that landed out of the endzone, and Zach Baldwin had two sacks.
White House did have two turnovers, despite controlling conversions and time of possession. The Blue Devils threw an interception and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter, when there were four turnovers between the two teams in two minutes.
White House moves on to the second round to face Lexington in a rematch of the 2010 Class 4-A quarterfinals, when the Tigers won 28-6. It’s the only meeting in the two schools’ history.
White House is now 10-3 all-time against Page and 2-0 in the postseason. The Blue Devils are looking for their 17th appearance in the quarterfinals since 1986.