Two teams that have been putting up huge offensive numbers every week were kept quiet Friday night as White Hall defeated conference rival Watson Chapel 14-6 at Wildcat Stadium.
“We spent about 3 1/2 hours this week on defense because we knew how good they were on offense,” White Hall head coach Mike Vaughn said. “And it paid off.
“You can’t give them enough credit on defense.”
Watson Chapel (3-3, 3-1 in 5A-South) was trailing 14-6 with about four minutes left in the fourth quarter when the Wildcats forced a fumble and recovered inside White Hall’s 40-yard line.
A pass interference call on third down gave Watson Chapel a first-and-goal at the 10-yard line. After a four-yard run by Devonte Battles, Chapel was penalized and moved back to the 13-yard line.
Following two incomplete passes, the Wildcats were facing a fourth-and-goal when they called a timeout with 1:27 left in the game. Battles attempted to run it in on a draw-like play but White Hall’s Devin Buckner made a touchdown-saving tackle to give the Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1) the ball back with 1:22 left.
“We never really had any true offensive success in this game,” Watson Chapel head coach George Shelton said. “They stuffed us in the run game and they had more time of possession.
“It was a pretty hard fought game and we just didn’t execute down the stretch.”
White Hall was pitching a shutout until the fourth quarter when Watson Chapel quarterback Kris McCullough completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Trey Cole with 4:48 left in the game.
“It is normally a tight contest between us and White Hall,” Shelton said. “It being a low scoring game doesn’t surprise me.”
McCullough opened the Wildcats’ only scoring drive with four straight complete passes — three of which landed in the hands of senior Kirel Young. On a third-and-one, White Hall’s Hunter McDoogle made a tackle in the backfield to force a fourth-and-long situation.
“I was pretty much disappointed in what we did offensively,” Shelton said. “We are going to have to do better at that down the stretch.”
McCullough finished the game 5-of-12 for 57 yards and the touchdown. Battles led the Wildcats with 11 carries for 44 yards.
White Hall’s Kendrick Edgerson gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 11:54 left in the second quarter thanks to a 6-yard touchdown run.
“Our defense at times played well,” Shelton said. “Anytime you lose, it is hard to find the good in a loss.
“Things are never as bad as they seem and never as good as you think they are. We were just on the wrong side of the scoreboard tonight.”
Edgerson gave White Hall a two-score lead in the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. It capped a 15-play drive for the Bulldogs and it gave them a 14-0 lead with 17 seconds left in the third quarter.
“I feel amazing,” Edgerson said. “I knew we had a real good chance of coming in and beating them, and we pulled it off.”
Vaughn said he wasn’t even sure if Edgerson would be able to play.
“He’s got a pulled muscle in his calf, and I never even thought he was going to play until (Friday),” Vaughn said. “To go out and play both ways the majority of the night showed a lot of heart.
“This guy is a college football player.”
Edgerson had 22 carries for 110 yards with two touchdowns. Quarterback Kirk Baugh was 8-of-10 for 78 yards. He also hauled in a 32-yard pass by junior Daniel Sprinkle in the third quarter.
On their opening drive of the second half, White Hall attempted a 25-yard field goal with about eight minutes left in the third quarter but Chapel was able to block it to keep the score at 7-0.
“Offensively, we did what we had to do to win,” Vaughn said. “We made some mistakes that cost us a couple of touchdowns but overall we played well.”
Edgerson said he was really proud of how the defense performed.
“We’ve been preaching defense the whole season,” Edgerson said. “We played hard and made the tackles we had to make.”
The win moves White Hall into second place behind Camden Fairview in the conference but Vaughn said he is trying not to focus on that right now.
“I want to enjoy this until Sunday and then we get back on Hot Springs,” Vaughn said. “It was a great ball game and our kids played so hard.
“You can’t point one out, they all played well.”