Special to The Commercial/Bo Rogers
White Hall coach Mike Vaughn will line his ninth-ranked team up against second-ranked Camden Fairview in tonight’s 5A-South Conference battle.
WHITE HALL — If White Hall has any advantage against Camden Fairview, it’s the home field.
Up to this point, the numbers for Camden Fairview have been nothing short of impressive. The Cardinals beat defending 6A state champion El Dorado 49-21, shut out Warren 42-0 and opened 5A-South Conference play with a 58-10 home thrashing of Hot Springs Lakeside.
Yet that’s only earned the Cardinals a No. 2 ranking in the latest Hootens.com 5A poll behind Pulaski Academy.
With a win tonight, the Bulldogs are sure to vault from the No. 9 spot. Coach Mike Vaughn said Thursday the contest will be a good measuring stick for his ballclub.
“That will probably tell us something, but we’re not going to live or die with one ballgame,” he said. “It’s one of those situations where we’ve got to look at the long haul. We want to see where we are right now and do the best we can to win this ballgame, but it’s not the end of the world. You try to improve every week.”
What Vaughn thinks the Bulldogs have to control is the Cardinals’ speed at the skill positions. The speed has allowed them to come up with big statistical numbers throughout the season, including senior running back Jamie Smith’s 406 yards and two touchdowns on the year.
Against Warren, junior wide receiver Deion Holliman exploded for 158 yards on four receptions. Junior quarterback Matthew Ollison went 5 for 5 for 211 yards in that game and was 15 for 20 for 239 yards at El Dorado.
So, White Hall will have to find a way to stop Camden Fairview’s offensive threats.
“You have to tackle really, really well,” Vaughn said. “Offensively, we have to block. We have to really protect the passer. If they put five people in a box, we have to do those things they give us.”
Offensively, the Bulldogs have been successful on the ground with young running backs. Sophomore Kendrick Edgerson had touchdown runs of 50, 55 and 66 runs last Friday in a 50-7 win at Magnolia. A week before, junior Irvin Tisdale totaled 187 yards in a 29-7 win at Sheridan.
The passing game has been consistent as well for White Hall with senior Terrance Warren under center. Warren is 19 for 30 on the season.
But against Camden Fairview, every completed pass and every yard will be necessary for White Hall.
“I’m anxious to see how hard we compete, how long we compete and how well we compete,” Vaughn said.