WHITE HALL – White Hall head coach Mike Vaughn was not surprised Hope upset No. 1 Camden Fairview last week because he has known all along how well they play.
“We know how athletic they are,” Vaughn said. “They are very talented. They had a good night against Camden, it definitely did not surprise us.”
The Bobcats (6-2, 4-1 5A-South) shut out Camden Fairview in the first half, held the Cardinals to a season-low 12 points and won 17-12. It ended Camden Fairview’s 30-game conference win streak.
Tonight’s game between Hope and White Hall is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium. If the Bulldogs win their next two games, White Hall (7-1, 4-1) would be guaranteed a share of the conference championship. White Hall will face a winless De Queen in the season finale.
But that’s not the focus for Vaughn this week.
“Whenever a conference championship is involved, we know how important it is,” Vaughn said. “But we can’t worry about that right now.
“We got to go out there and take care of business. The playoff situation will take care of itself.”
Last week, Hope senior quarterback Nathan Stubber finished 9-of-16 for 90 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 60 yards. Senior Javon Westmoreland has rushed for more than 600 yards and has 200 yards receiving in seven games this fall.
“They are very talented,” Vaughn said. “They have a quarterback that can throw and run.
“Our defense has to make plays in the open field and tackle well. We have to try to contain (Stubber) and tackle when they get in the open field.
“We can’t give up the big play and try to slow them down a little bit.”
After losing 39-7 to Camden Fairview on Oct. 4, the Bulldogs have won three straight games by an average of 15 points. Junior quarterback Kirk Baugh has passed for 1,000 yards this year, while junior Kendrick Edgerson has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 15 scores.
In last week’s win over Hot Springs, Baugh finished the night 18-of-24 for 266 yards and three TDs while also adding 14 carries for 178 yards and three TDs, accounting for all six of White Hall’s touchdowns.
“We must protect the passer,” Vaughn said. “We want throw and catch and that’s the big deal this week.
“If our offensive line plays well, we will move the football.”
White Hall’s offensive line has seen its fair share of injuries this fall but Vaughn said, “We are at about 90 percent healthy right now.”
Senior left tackle Corey Doss didn’t play in last week’s 13-point win at Hot Springs, but Vaughn expects him to return for senior night.
Robert Dooms, who was out with an arm injury, is also slated to return.
Senior linebacker Austin Berry paces the Bulldogs with 20 tackles a game including the 22 stops he had at Hot Springs.
“Austin does a great job for us,” Vaughn said. “He is a good athlete and is very intelligent.
“He is also very fast and anytime you can run well at linebacker, you have a good chance to be successful.”
Vaughn said Dooms is “right there with Austin.”