With the win, Whitefield (6-3, 5-1 Region 6A (B)) will travel in next week’s Region Play-In.
“I’ve been playing here for four years and it’s great to go out with a win,” said senior lineman Hunter Holliday. “There’s nothing better than that.”
Holliday was part of a defensive front that stuffed the Tigers (4-5, 1-4) on fourth down twice deep in the red zone, the first one taking place in the third quarter.
Switching to a three-back set led by Connor Henderson and Julian Chance (17 carries, 68 yards), King’s Ridge reached the 11-yard line, but Wolfpack senior Max Kemether intercepted only the second pass attempt of the drive for a touchback.
“It was an emotional game last week,” said Whitefield coach Jimmy Fields, “but I’m pleased with the way our seniors led.”
They would be forced to led by example again after Everett Pollard’s fumble near midfield gave the Tigers great field position. Again they drove the ball on the ground, reaching the 5-yard line before facing a fourth down.
“We just created a pile and the linebackers came, filled the holes and made the big stop,” Holliday said. “I’ve got to give credit to the linebackers because they did a great job.”
Brennan Saul was one of those linebackers, stopping Henderson a yard short of the first down. The senior stayed on the field as part of an offensive line that cemented a long trek to seal the game away.
“They’re the ones that enable (our skill players) to step up to the plate,” said Fields about his senior linemen. “They just hung in there and to go 95 yards. That was a thing of beauty.”
Pollard’s play-fake was a thing of beauty that led to a 49-yard rumble up the middle that changed field position on the final drive, one that could have happened earlier if not for numerous unforced penalties.
“It seemed like we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We could just never pull away, but to 95 yards to seal it and (Kris Martin)’s interception; I think that’s a storybook ending to a great group of seniors.”
“It couldn’t have been any better and I’m so excited for next week,” said Saul,”I can’t be more pumped.”