Sports Writer: Brent Cook
September 7, 2022
With a bruising defensive effort and a well-balanced offense, the Whitney Wildcats staked claim to this year’s Hill County bragging rights.
The Wildcats overcame three first-half fumbles and then opened the floodgates to coast to a 48-6 victory over Hillsboro. The win placed the first feather in the cap of new Whitney Head Coach David Haynes.
The Wildcats will now head into district play with a 1-1 record and a boost of momentum.
Friday night’s charge came courtesy of a stingy defense that limited the Eagles to 80 yards passing and 130 yards rushing.
Whitney’s linebacker crew of David Haynes III, Teagan Winkler and Braden Wohleb had crushing performances and camped out in the Eagles’ backfield. Penalties and turnovers aided the cause and set the stage for the Whitney offensive attack.
Quarterback Mason Seely (13-19, 155 yards, 2 TDs) efficiently picked apart the Hillsboro secondary to connect for two touchdown passes to Jaidyn Anderson in the first half. The scores were sandwiched by a Tristan Wilson rushing touchdown, giving Whitney a 20-0 halftime advantage.
The Wildcats stormed into the second half with the same energy as they took the kickoff.
Seely guided the team down the field and then saved a botched snap that resulted in a red zone first down. Haynes then busted into the end zone to stretch the lead to 27-0.
With the game under control, the defense completed the mission while the offense opened up the playbook.
Hillsboro struggled to move the ball with a laundry pile of penalty flags, but Whitney had no issues. Wildcat Da’marion Johnson rumbled and racked up consecutive rushing touchdowns towards the end of the third quarter to put the score at 41-0.
Hillsboro finally found the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, but Whitney’s Johnson closed out the night with a final statement score.
Whitney returns to Wildcat Stadium this Friday night to face the Inspired Vision Eagles. The Eagles are a newcomer to the district, which has ballooned to nine teams. Inspired Vision is 1-1 on the season.