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Home News-Telegram Sports Rivalry Renewed -- Whitehouse favored by four points; ’Cats face stern test in home opener

Rivalry Renewed -- Whitehouse favored by four points; ’Cats face stern test in home opener

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If the recent history of Sulphur Springs/Whitehouse holds true, then Friday night’s game will be a heck of a show.

The Wildcat fight between the maroon cats from Whitehouse clawing at the Sulphur Springs blue and gold Hopkins County ’Cats should be a scoreboard watchers’ delight.

Last year the teams combined for more than 800 yards and 85 points with Sulphur Springs taking a 52-33 decision. This year should not be any different.

Sulphur Springs head coach Greg Owens said that Whitehouse has jumped near the top of the list of rivals for his team. The teams square off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Gerald Prim Stadium.

Whitehouse is favored by four points, even after losing their opening game of the year at Naamen Forest in Garland, 41-34.

“They’re our modern day rival, because two years ago they beat us in the playoffs,” Owens said. “We had a lead in that game and lost it to them. Those kind of things stick in your craw. They have a good team, they are pretty young, but still they have a tremendous ball club. They do a fine job of coaching over in Whitehouse.”

The head coaches Randy McFarlin at Whitehouse and Owens in Sulphur Springs have squared off many times over the years. Even dating back to when Owens was the head coach at Lindale and  McFarlin hung his hat in Daingerfield.

“It’s an added thing and it fun for me to go up against Randy’s team,” Owens said. “We have his son (Craig McFarlin is a coach at SSMS) coaching over here. That adds to the dynamics of it all. But to put all that aside, they have a good football team and we have a good football team. It‘s a good matchup and a great test for us and for them.”

The Wildcats from Whitehouse have a potent passing game. Quarterback Preston Conder directs the attack with favorite targets like Trey Metoyer, Skip Caldwell and Logan Newton. Metoyer had 16 catches and more than 160 yards in the season-opening loss. Last year, Metoyer had over 1,100 yards and 14 scores including eight catches against Sulphur Springs and one touchdown in Whitehouse.

“They (Whitehouse) has a precise passing attack,” Owens said. “Reno Moore, a former teammate of mine at Stephen F. Austin (Whitehouse offensive coordinator) does a good job with that offense. Randy runs the defense. Their kids are fundamentally sound. Metoyer and Quincy Aldridge are great athletes. They probably could have beat a 5A team. They’re a very confident team. They can score quickly and you have to be ready. They will challenge you deep and try to put you in a bind. Or they can be patient and throw the short stop routes to Metoyer. He is a great runner when he gets the ball. Their line is big and strong. If they get their hands on you, then you got a problem.”

Sulphur Springs is coming off a 33-21 win over Paris in the season opener. The Wildcats racked up 456 total yards on the road. Running back Devion “Thrill” Hill began his varsity career with a bang running for 8.6 yards per carry, toting the rock for more than 220 yards and two scores. Quarterback Colton Lee in his first varsity action completed 12-of-28 passes for 174 yards, three interceptions and one touchdown. The long pass was a 53-yarder to Bryant “Day Day” Jackson. Jackson led all receivers with 84 yards on three grabs, he also returned three punts for 60 yards. LeMarcus Kendricks had a 24.8 yard average on two kickoff returns.

“The Whitehouse defense does not gamble much, they don’t blitz much,” Owens said. “They sit back in a 4-3 and read and play good, sound fundamental football. They don’t give up the big play. We have to take care of the football and do what we do. We have had a good week of practice. We need to run great routes, catch the ball.”

Owens said getting the 33-21 win to start the season being victorious in Paris helped his team have confidence heading into the matchup with Whitehouse.

“We played physical against Paris. We played pretty  nasty on the line and got after it up front. We need to be more physical,’ Owens said. “I was impressed with the running of Hill. He did a great job playing on Friday night. Our defense flew to the football. We made plays and did the things that were really positive. Players make plays and we did.”

In the Paris game, Sulphur Springs had 75 total tackles, eight for losses. The Sulphur Springs Wildcats broke up seven passes and came up with 19 quarterback pressures and one sack. Top tackler was Kedrick Dial with nine and six quarterback pressures. Triston Crook had seven total tackles while Jimmy Villa, Sharard Timmons and Tyler Higginbotham had six each. Timmons had an interception return for a touchdown. Keiston Clayton led the team with three passes broken up. Dial had six solo tackles to pace that category.

“We have to make the big play, the big throw and what we need to do to be successful,” Owens said. “I have seen them do it before and we need to do it against Whitehouse. It’s proved so far when we’ve played each other that the game will be a shootout.”

The coach added, “We need to make their quarterback (Conder) move and be uncomfortable. We are going to press their receivers and not just lay back. If you do that they can pick you apart. We are going to force them to try and beat us. We’ll give them different looks and see if he knows his stuff.”


...Some information missing from the chart above for Whitehouse. Whitehouse officials do not use a roster with heights and weights and did not provide the information.
...Talented Trey -Trey Metoyer (No. 17 in your program) is coming off a year with 74 catches and over 1,100 yards and 14 scores. He is already thinking of visiting relatives back in Louisiana, if he happens to be a recruit of one of his favorite teams, LSU. Metoyer, is a 6-2, 190-pound junior. He also is being pursued by Texas A&M, Oklahoma, UCLA, Texas, Notre Dame, Stanford, Nebraska and Colorado. Last year, Metoyer had eight catches for 210 yards and one score. But Sulphur Springs won the battle on the scoreboard. The SS Wildcats had 586 yards compared to 312 for Whitehouse.
...The Big Q - Quincy Aldridge a 6-3, 180-pound wide receiver/defensive back, is one of the top athletes on the team and did not play in the opener. Aldridge comes from an impressive family line with his dad and cousin having played professional football. In the last two seasons,  Aldridge has 11 interceptions. It was Aldridge’s interception which sealed the 33-30 Whitehouse comeback win over Sulphur Sprngs Nov. 15, 2007 in Mesquite in the bi-district playoffs.
...Record success - The Wildcats are riding a three-year playoff streak in football, the longest in school history.
...Sulphur Springs holds a 16-4 advantage in the all-time series with Whitehouse, including last year’s victory.
...13-4A chatter - Some interesting matchups in non-district games for other 13-4A contests. Marshall plays against a Louisiana team (Huntington ) while Texas High plays against Arkansas school, Lake Hamilton. Those games are not ranked. In other action, Kilgore is a seven-point favorite over Hallsville; Paris is favored by 21 over Pine Tree; Liberty-Eylau is picked by seven over Mount Pleasant.
...SUB-VARSITY - The Thursday night sub-varsity football games will follow this schedule the freshmen play two games at Whitehouse at 4 and 5 p.m. the JV game is at Whitehouse at 7 p.m.




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