OAKWOOD — It was a battle for their playoff lives at Spartan Field on Friday.
Both White County and West Hall were coming off of devastating losses to the leaders in the Region 7-3A standings, and both were sitting near the bottom of the standings looking for the first region win. Coupled that with the fact that it was raining for most of the first half, and it was all set up for a close, low-scoring game. The Warriors disagreed as they put up 42 points and blanked the Spartans on their homecoming night, 42-0.
"We just gotta keep going through it the right way, we have a good team," White County coach Tim Cokely said. "We get better each week, and we just have to fight every play. We don't have the biggest team in the world, but we play with a lot of heart and our guys played well tonight."
The first quarter had almost ended, with neither team being able to score, but the Warriors' senior running back Silas Mulligan pushed his team ahead on a a two-yard rushing touchdown. It was his first of two touchdowns on the night. Mulligan ended up carrying the load for the offense as he ran the ball 16 times for 73 yards and hauled in a reception for 42 yards.
Freshman quarterback Tripp Nix wasn't too shabby himself as he carried the ball seven times for 53 yards and completed 60 percent of his passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown was off of a screen pass to receiver Darius Cannon, who weaved in and out of traffic to take it 63 yards for the score.
Backup quarterback and offensive weapon Bryson Cronic added 29 rushing yards and two touchdowns. In the final minutes of the game, running back Ryan Fowler ran for 41 yards while also scoring a touchdown. As a team, the Warriors rushed the ball for 201 yards.
West Hall's offense on the other hand could not get off the ground as senior quarterback Nick Sturm was constantly harassed by White County's pass rushers. He was sacked five times for a loss of 31 yards. Sturm was only able to complete 57 percent of his passes for 63 yards due to constantly being pressured by the defense. Blake McCray led the Spartans with 34 yards on seven carries. The leading rusher for the Spartans was senior Blake McCray who had 34 yards on seven carries. White County held West Hall to 95 yards of total offense.
With the offense unable to get anything going, the defense was on the field for a long time, leading to more offensive opportunities for the Warriors.
Cokely was pleased with his team's performance.
"We're just now getting started," he said. "We got an off week at the right time and we're just really proud of our guys. We really needed this and I'm glad we got it. Going forward we're gonna be hard to beat cause we have a good team. I know we play in a tough league, but it's okay, it's just about us."