By DOUG DONNELLY
PETERSBURG – Whiteford fell behind early to Summerfield and was held scoreless in the first quarter, but still ended up forcing a running clock as it pulled away in the second half for a 46-12 win over the Bulldogs to open TCC play.
The Bulldogs scored on their opening possession, then scored on the game’s final play after calling a timeout with three seconds remaining in the contest. In between those two Bulldog scoring drives, the Bobcat offense rolled up 418 yards while its defense limited Summerfield to just 47 yards.
“Our kids overcame some adversity, battled all game and came away with the victory,” Bobcat coach Jason Mensing said after seeing Whiteford win its 17th straight game and 21st consecutive regular season contest.
Summerfield got the ball first and drove from its own 28-yard line, using a couple of big pass plays. On a fourth-and-30, Brendan Zeipekis found Brendan DaFoe on a 31-yard scoring pass to give the Bulldogs the early lead.
Whiteford fumbled on its next possession, but forced a Summerfield punt to get the ball back to start the second quarter. Hunter Lake scored on a 60-yard run on the first play of the second quarter and the Bobcats took the lead for good on Ty Eitniear’s conversion run with 11:46 left before half.
Two possessions later, Lake was back in the end zone, this time on a 56-yard pass from Eitniear. A Logan Murphy run with 28 seconds left before halftime put the Bobcats up 24-6 at intermission. In the third quarter, Whiteford got a touchdown pass from Eitniear to Bradyn Clark-Gilmore of 22 yards and a touchdown run by Zack Bertz to go up 40-6. Caleb Williams scored his second touchdown of the season with 4:54 left in the fourth quarter, forcing a running clock.
Murphy led all rushers with 83 yards on 15 carries. Lake had 72 yards on just two attempts while Bertz gained 49 yards on six rushes. Eitniear completed four passes for 118 yards.
The Bobcats (3-0, 1-0) defense dominated the middle parts of the game. Summerfield was just 5-for-14 on third down conversion attempts and 2-for-6 on fourth down attempts. Treylan Hess had 12 tackles for the Bobcats, including three sacks and five tackles for loss in an outstanding defensive effort. Nathan Bauman had seven tackles, including four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Bertz had a pair of tackles for loss.
Zeipekis threw for 127 yards for the 1-2 Bulldogs (0-1 in TCC). His final rushing total was 10 carries for minus-41 yards.
Whiteford now lead the all-time series between the two teams, 36-25.
The Bobcats will host Whitmore Lake next week. The Trojans fell to Clinton Friday, 55-6.
Two TCC games are scheduled for Saturday. Sand Creek will play at Morenci and Britton Deerfield travels to Madison. Both games start at 11 a.m.
WHITEFORD 46, SUMMERFIELD 12
First downs-Plays 23-47 12-56
Rushes-yards 40-300 39-59
Comp-Att-Int 4-7-1 9-17-0
Passing yards 118 127
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 0-0
Punts-Avg. 0-0.0 4-34.8
Penalties-Yards 4-30 3-30
S – Brendan DaFoe 31 pass from Brendan Zeipekis (kick blocked)
W – Hunter Lake 60 run (Ty Eitniear run)
W – Lake 56 pass from Eitniear (Logan Murphy run)
W – Murphy 1 run (Bradyn Clark-Gilmore pass from Eitniear)
W – Clark-Gilmore 22 pass from Eitniear (D’Ondre Shaw run)
W – Zack Bertz 19 run (Shaw run)
W – Caleb Williams 1 run (run failed)
S – Bryce Smith 14 pass from Zeipekis (no attempt)
RUSHING: Whiteford: Logan Murphy 15-83, Hunter Lake 2-72, Zack Bertz 6-49, Ty Eitniear 4-44, Devon Shaw 6-25, D’Ondre Shaw 3-16, Nick Marchant 3-10, Caleb Williams 1-1. Summerfield: Derek Clark 6-60, Jake LaRoccac 17-27, Andrew Bucher 1-8, Michael Hallauer 4-3, Bryce Smith 1-2, Brendan Zeipekis 10-(minus)-41.
PASSING: Whiteford: Ty Eitniear 4-7-1 118 yards. Summerfield: Brendan Zeipekis 9-17-0 127 yards.
RECEIVING: Whiteford: Bradyn Clark-Gilmore 3-62, Hunter Lake 1-56. Summerfield: Bryce Smith 5-63, Brendan DaFoe 1-31, Jake LaRocca 2-30, Andrew Bucher 1-3.