WHITE HALL — White Hall’s scrimmage against Malvern did not appear to be going that well for the Bulldogs. But by the end, it showed glimpses of a team that made a 5A semifinal run last year.
White Hall ended up beating 4A runner-up Malvern 14-13 Tuesday at home. In the first half of the scrimmage, the teams alternated 10-play possessions three times each before a break and no official score was kept during it. Then in the second half, the two teams played out a full two quarters of football.
In the second half, Malvern scored on its first possession for a 7-0 lead, but White Hall held the Leopards scoreless until their very last possession.
The Bulldogs found the end zone twice during that time and then squashed a potential game-winning two-point conversion for the win.
“I thought our kids pretty well considering it is the first scrimmage,” White Hall coach Mike Vaughn said. “Never know this time of year what they will be like, but I thought all-in-all, they played pretty well.”
Malvern scored in eight plays on its first drive. Running back Tim Hardimon provided the touchdown on a 33-yard scamper around the left side.
White Hall went three-and-out on its first two possessions, but forced a three-and-out from Malvern and Quinton Winston picked off a deflected pass for White Hall.
After the interception, the Bulldogs drove down to the 26-yard line, but quarterback Kirk Baugh failed to connect with Percy Arnold in the back of the end zone and Tyler Carr missed a 43-yard field goal.
Malvern gave the ball right back on the first play following the missed field goal. Quarterback Austin Warford scrambled and threw deep, but the ball hung up too long and Arnold picked off the pass.
“Our secondary played well and our defense did a good job,” Vaughn said.
Malvern coach John Fogleman said Warford probably should not have thrown that pass.
“He had pressure and he had the guy beat, and he knows now that he probably shouldn’t have thrown it,” he said. “He didn’t get everything on it.”
White Hall took over at its own 27-yard line and capped off the nine-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run on a reverse by wide receiver Joseph Stewart.
Malvern drove down to White Hall’s 10-yard line on the ensuing possession, but two dropped touchdown passes and a missed field goal gave White Hall an opportunity with 7:30 left in the game.
The Bulldogs needed just seven plays to drive 70 yards for a score, which was provided by Irvin Tisdale’s 13-yard touchdown run.
Malvern got the ball back with 4:41 left and scored with 1:03 remaining on Hardimon’s 2-yard touchdown run. But on the two-point conversion, Warford was stopped short and White Hall took a knee to end the game.
It was an easy decision for Fogleman to go for the win in a game that does not affect anyone’s record.
“No brainer with no overtime or anything like that. It was just a miscue and it’s good to have those things at this time of year,” Fogleman said. “I think it was bigger when we dropped two passes in the end zone and missed the field goal. That was the difference, too.”
White Hall’s quarterback battle started to take shape during the scrimmage. Baugh, a sophomore, played most of the game under center and senior Terrance Warren took the snaps inside the 10-yard line.
Vaughn was unwilling to say one had the edge on the other, though.
“Depends on what happens between now and tomorrow,” he said. “They both can do anything, no doubt about it. … (Kirk) really has a good arm. … (With Warren) that was our goal-line package last year.”
Baugh threw for 83 yards on 7 of 17 passing. Warren did not attempt a pass.
White Hall’s first game is on Aug. 28*** at Golden Lion Stadium against Hamburg for the Hooten’s Kickoff Week.
This article has been updated from its original version to replace an incorrect date.