WHITE HOUSE – Eight rushing touchdowns and a shutout. That was the recipe for a stellar night at Dewey H. Whitson Stadium.
The White House Blue Devils dominated Cheatham County 58-0 on the backs on 355 rushing yards, a school record eight rushing touchdowns, and a defense that held the Cubs under 100 total yards until the final two plays of the game.
White House quarterback Ranen Blackburn rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns and had a third wiped off the board for a penalty, and then connected to Bryson Harper twice for 90 yards passing. He needs 30 yards passing to become the first player in White House history with 1,000 yards passing and 1,000-plus yards rushing in the same career, entering next week’s game at 970 for his career. He is already over the 3,100-yard mark rushing.
But the senior quarterback got help, as a pass to Harper set up the first touchdown and Montrel Black rumbled into the end zone for the first of his two scores on the night to give the Devils a 7-0 lead. Then Reece McAfee bolted for 51 yards and made it 13-0 in the first quarter early, but the two-point pass was ruled no good when a fake from the holder was called down before the pass from Harper to Pierce Scholato in the corner of the end zone.
White House moved into scoring position again with another long strike to Harper, but Blackburn was intercepted in the back of the end zone for the Devils only miscue of the night.
In the second quarter, Blackburn scored his first touchdown of the night and Miguel Cotto got in for his first career score and a 26-0 lead at the half.
The first half ended in bizarre fashion as Cheatham County quarterback Ty Cunningham connected on a long pass to the 21 yard line as the clock expired, but the team lined up for one more play. White House had to call a timeout to get the team back onto the field from running to the locker room, and then was charged for pass interference, leading to an untimed down at the 10. White House’s Amarion Lucas swatted away the crossing route to end the first half.
The Blue Devils poured it on in the third. Black busted through an ankle tackle and spun out of a defender for an impressive 40-yard touchdown, then Blackburn bolted across midfield and to the end zone for a 56-yarder and a 41-0 lead after a two-point pass from Blackburn to Lucas. The big Blackburn run was broken outside on a pancake block by Josh Underwood at the 37 yard line.
After the twos came into the game, Harper nailed a 42-yard field goal for a 44-0 lead, then White House added touchdowns in the fourth by birthday boy Keyon Dickerson and freshman Isaiah McGill.
The lone bright spot for Cheatham County was Cunningham passed 11-of-17 for 116 yards and rushed eight times for 30. The rest of the Cubs were held to zero yards rushing on 13 carries, outside of the quarterback runs.
White House allowed 146 yards of total offense, but two long plays covered 52 yards in the final seconds of the game.
Rhys Blackburn, Luke Kelton and Nathan Seipp led the defense with nine tackles, followed by Scholato with seven, Paul Hurt with six and Lucas and Cade Holliday with five. Cade Hutcherson and Mathew Miller both had four. Lucas and Seipp broke up two passes each and Blackburn recovered a fumble. Ben Reynolds blocked a punt and Brayden Rosenbarker made one of his three tackles to turn the ball over and set up the McGill touchdown.
White House made 10 tackles for losses in the game.
Further, White House corrected its biggest struggle of the early season, coming into the game 1-of-17 on third down, White House was 8-for-8 and did not have a punt or a fourth down attempt. Cheatham County was only 2-of-10 on third down and punted seven times.
Blackburn led the rushing effort with McAfee adding 79 yards, then Dickerson had 51 yards on four carries with a 28-yard score, and Black added four yards and scored on both of his touches. McGill had 17 yards on two carries as did Cotto and both had a touchdown. Derek Long got one carry for four yards, Lucas one for eight, Harper one for one and Frary lost seven on two carries including a sack.
Harper caught the only two passes as Blackburn was 2-for-6 and Frary was 0-for-1, but Harper kicked off 10 times for 454 yards including a career long 65-yard kickoff after a penalty moved the tee back.
White House has the third-best scoring defense in all Class 3A.
White House 58-0 is the biggest shutout in school history. White House beat Macon County 54-0 and DeKalb County 50-0 in 1996, and Stewart County 53-0 in 1951.
White House's eight rushing touchdowns in a game is a school record.
White House's 58 points is in the top five all-time, but the Devils have scored over 60 three times including 68 against Macon County in 1998, 65 against DeKalb County in 1997 and 64 against Montgomery Central in 1996. All those teams gave up points in the game.
Ranen Blackburn needs 30 yards passing to become the first Blue Devils player to go over 1,000 yards rushing and passing in the same career.
White House and Portland have played 52 times and every year since 1978. The Panthers won the first 12, but White House has won 26-of-40 since. The series is tied 26-26.