Wolverines fall in first round of playoffs

By Andrew Wigger - awigger@civitasmedia.com

Devin Vo runs the ball to score the first touchdown of the night.

Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

WHITMIRE — The Whitmire High School Wolverines ended their season after losing 44-42 to the Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High School Trojans in overtime Friday night in round one of the region playoffs.

The first quarter was all Whitmire with Devin Vo scoring the first touchdown of the night with a little over eight minutes left in the quarter. Whitmire then made the two-point conversion to take the 8-0 lead.

With only six minutes left in the first quarter Chase McCarley scored the second touchdown of the night, and AJ Renwick made a two point conversion, increasing the Wolverines lead to 16-0. The Wolverines ended the first quarter with a comfortable lead.

“We played almost perfect in the first quarter. We caught them off guard I think. We recovered two onside kicks, had two big pass completions and we scored on a trick play, and we picked off a pass on their only possession of the first quarter. We could not have done better,” Head Coach Charlie Jenkins said.

The Wolverines good luck continued in the beginning of the second quarter when Vo scored on a jet sweep toward the concession stand end of the field. The PAT failed but the Wolverines held on to the 22-0 lead.

The Trojans scored their first touchdown of the night with six minutes on the clock with a 27-yard touchdown. They made the two point conversion to take the score to 22-8.

Three minutes later a Trey Lyles catch put the Wolverines ahead 28-8, but the PAT was unsuccessful. The Trojans scored again but could not get the two-point conversion. The first half ended 28-14 with the Wolverines in the lead.

The Trojans made the first touchdown of the second half with a little under 10 minutes on the clock in the third quarter. A successful two-point conversion moved the score to 28-22 and the Trojans started closing the gap on the Wolverines.

The third quarter ended with the Trojans scoring again, and making the two-point conversion. For the first time of the night, the Trojans were in the lead 30-28.

The Trojans worked to increase their lead in the fourth quarter when they scored again with five minutes on the clock, but the two-point conversion failed. The score was now 36-28. The Wolverine then tied up the board with one minute on the clock, after a successful touchdown and two-point conversion.

“I was very proud that we went down fighting. They scored with 4:30 left in the game,” Jenkins said. “We could have hung our heads and gave up. We called a timeout and explained to them that stopping the two-point conversion would keep it at a one score game. The defense bowed up and held and held them out of the endzone. Then they kicked off to us and we started to drive to tie the game from our own 14 yard line. So we got 86 yards and scored a touchdown followed by a two point conversion to tie.”

With the game in overtime, the Wolverines had possession of the ball first and immediately scored a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed and the score was 42-36.

The Trojans scored one more time and completed the two point conversion, ending the game 44-42.

Jenkins said he was as proud as he has been in his three years at Whitmire, adding that the team gave everything it had.

“After scouting them last week in person and also watching lots of video on them, our staff felt like we could move the ball on them offensively, but I knew we would struggle to contain their offense,” he said. “They had a big, fast and talented quarterback and a bunch of other quick players to go with him. He was just hard to catch and hard to bring down when we did catch him. It is rare to see such a talent at the Class A level.”

Jenkins said his takeaway from the game was that Whitmire’s players were athletically outmatched, but they battled until the end.

“That is all anyone can ask and my guys should be proud of themselves,” he said. “The seniors should be able to walk around with heads held high. We have made great strides in their careers. They helped us to three straight playoff appearances, they played for a region championship this year, and hosted a playoff game. The underclassmen got to see what its like to play in the playoffs and what it will take to win in the playoffs against a perennially competitive program like H-K-T. We hope to build on this.”

Devin Vo runs the ball to score the first touchdown of the night.
http://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSC_0517.jpgDevin Vo runs the ball to score the first touchdown of the night. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

By Andrew Wigger


Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.

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