WHITE HALL — Watson Chapel and White Hall didn’t miss much of anything in their rivalry renewal.
Trick plays, big plays, bigger plays on fourth-and-short, and special-team scores provided most of the highlights at Bulldog Stadium, where White Hall escaped with a 48-41 victory Friday night. The victory put the Bulldogs in second place in the 5A-South Conference and knocked the Wildcats out of a first-place tie with Camden Fairview.
White Hall finished with exactly 500 yards of total offense, including 307 on the ground. Terrance Warren accounted for the other 193 yards on 7-of-15 passing, throwing for three touchdown passes and one interception.
Joseph Stewart caught two of the scoring passes and ran for another touchdown. But neither play was more important than his pick with 1 minute left in the game to end the Wildcats’ threat.
Watson Chapel had 399 total yards — 194 rushing and 195 on 10-of-18 passing by SanAntonio Cole with two picks. Cole also ran for a score.
Stewart turned in the longest play of the night, a 75-yard catch-and-run from Terrance Warren for a touchdown early in the third quarter that extended the Bulldogs’ lead to 34-21. It became 34-27 after James Collier ran for one of his three touchdowns from 20 yards out. White Hall went up 42-27 on a 25-yard quarterback keeper by Warren to close a 69-yard drive in three plays, aided by a late-hit flag against Watson Chapel.
Cole carried for 21 and 22 yards back to back on the next series, the latter run resulting in a touchdown. Collier added the extra two points.
The Wildcats seemed to gain momentum shortly afterward when Warren, under pressure, threw an interception to Stargell. On fourth-and-18, Cole escaped pressure and then went up field for a 25-yard gain to the 4. Collier ran into the end zone on the next play, but Cole was stopped short on the two-point conversion attempt.
With 6 seconds left in the third period, Irvin Tisdale broke a 60-yard run on fourth-and-1 to put the Bulldogs up 48-41. After all the back-and-forth scoring, White Hall managed to stop Watson Chapel on its last three series for the win.
White Hall built momentum going into halftime with a pair of big plays. Percy Arnold raced through the Watson Chapel secondary on a 59-yard pass play for a touchdown to tie the game at 21 with 3:52 left before halftime. That wrapped up a 10-play, 80-yard drive. Then the Bulldogs recovered an onside kick, and on the next play, Kendrick Edgerson bolted 50 yards to give White Hall the lead. The momentum was timely for the Bulldogs because the Wildcats had just taken a 21-14 lead on an 84-yard Joshua Balentine kickoff return. With that play, followed by a Collier conversion run, Watson Chapel had rebounded from a costly mishap, fumbling a handoff inside its own 20 to set up a White Hall score.
Stewart ran 20 yards up the middle two plays after the fumble for a score, and Warren ran out of Swinging Gates formation for the extra two points to give White Hall its first lead of the game. Watson Chapel was pinned inside its own 10 on its first two drives and took to the air to pull itself out of trouble. On its first drive from the 1, Kirel Young made a 33-yard catch on third-and-10 and White Hall committed a 15-yard roughing-the-punter penalty to extend the drive. Collier then ran for 42 yards on four straight carries, including a 2-yarder into the end zone to open the scoring with 3:32 left in the first quarter.
The 99-yard drive is the Wildcats’ longest in school history and went 14 plays.
The Bulldogs didn’t need as much field to respond. Warren hit Stewart down the left-hand sideline for a 34-yard TD pass, but Jordan Stargell blocked the extra-point attempt to keep the Wildcats in front, 7-6.
The Wildcats started their next march from their own 9 and moved up 50 yards on a Cole-to-Stargell pass. They pulled a little trickery out of the hat when Tevon Jones caught a pass and pitched to Battles on a hook-and-ladder that went 38 yards to the White Hall 8. Battles ran on the next three plays, scoring on a 3-yard carry as time expired in the quarter. A low snap forced Kris McCullough to throw an incomplete pass on the point-after attempt to keep it 13-6 in Watson Chapel’s favor.
Tyler Carr missed a 37-yard field goal that would have brought White Hall within four points, but Battles fumbled on the next play to set up the go-ahead series for the Bulldogs.