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Home News-Telegram Sports Sulphur Springs rallies over Whitehouse, 36-26

Sulphur Springs rallies over Whitehouse, 36-26

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Sulphur Springs survived a difficult test.

Down at home in the fourth quarter, the cream rose to the top.

Behind on the scoreboard 26-22 to a tough Whitehouse team, Sulphur Springs took advantage of turnovers and scored the final 14 points of the game to take a 36-26 comeback win.

“We grew up some tonight,” Sulphur Springs head football coach Greg Owens said wiping his brow after the game. “It was a humid night, we fell behind. We regrouped and matured and came together as a team to get the win. We made the plays we had to make. It was a great win.”

Sulphur Springs senior quarterback Colton Lee completed 26-of-35 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Just as important, he guided the team to two fourth quarter scoring rallies. Lee threw a 54-yard pass to Kody Chester for one score. Devion Hill, who rushed for 93 yards in the game, bolted 17 yards for the final score.

The overflow crowd at Gerald Prim Stadium (at least the home side) had to be a little bit shocked as action moved the final period with the visiting Wildcats ahead of the hometown ‘Cats, 26-22.

The Sulphur Springs defense flexed their muscles to force a Whitehouse punt after just three plays. Sulphur Springs took over at their own 23 and desperately tried to make something happen.

The drive looked promising after Hill thrilled the crowd with runs of nine and 11 yards to move the chains. A short pass from Colton Lee to Garrett Ferguson broke the running trend. But Sulphur Springs responded with good blocking as they ran three consecutive rushing plays before a holding call threatened to end the drive. Whitehouse was really feeling their oats as Dee Mwape and Simon Webb combined for a sack of Lee, a loss of 17 yards.

In a long yardage situation from the 46-yard line, Lee scrambled out of trouble and on the run, floated a pass to Kody Chester coming out of  the backfield. The bulk of the Whitehouse defenders were chasing Lee, once Chester broke the first wave of defenders, he was home free for the long scoring run. Fernando Arellano’s extra point gave Sulphur Springs the first lead of the second half as they went up 28-26 with 7:27 remaining.

The ensuing kickoff was high and deep with De’Montra Brown making a good return from his own five, before he ran into a wall of Sulphur Springs tacklers and coughed up the pigskin. Tanner Gilbreath came off the bottom of the pile with the turnover.

Sulphur Springs took over at the Whitehouse 19 and it only took them two plays to score. The second play, a run by Hill behind terrific blocking in the middle of the line, allowed the senior running back to race free to pay dirt. The Arellano extra point at the 6:35 mark gave the hometown Wildcats their second score during a big momentum change. Sulphur Springs was up by 10 points, 36-26, but Whitehouse was not ready to quit.

Whitehouse quarterback Preston Conder forced the ball deep, trying to find magic with Trey Metoyer. Instead he found the waiting arms of Sharard Timmons as Sulphur Springs came up with an interception.

Sulphur Springs ran some time off the clock, but had to punt with Whitehouse pinned 80-yards from the goal following a Timmons’ punt.

Whitehouse took over with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Senior linebacker Tyler Higginbotham unloaded some big hits on Metoyer to quell the uprising.

“He had been making us miss most the game,” Higginbotham said. “It was good to get a clean shot on him. He’s a very good player.”

Time ran out with Whitehouse on the Sulphur Springs’ 24-yard line. Sulphur Springs happy to go 2-0 and have the 10-point win.

In the early going, the game belonged to Sulphur Springs as they not only built a two touchdown lead, but went to their bag of tricks.

Sulphur Springs opened the game with a 67-yard, 13-play drive. The Wildcats had eight runs and five passes in the assault that backed Whitehouse down the field. Colby Suggs, a center by trade, tried his hand at quarterback.

The former sub-varsity signal caller ran the team on a goal line play with the 225-pound No. 53 taking the ball up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown run.  Fernando Arellano’s extra point at the 5:49 mark of the first quarter gave the home team a 7-0 advantage.

Suggs revealed later the offensive set he runs is called “Tubow” named after Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, but call “Tubow” due to the bulky frame of Suggs. Suggs said the plays were fun, but the credit for them working goes to the offensive line.

Arellano then further flexed his leg muscles, booming a touchback over the head of Whitehouse kickoff team members on the kickoff.

Whitehouse’s second drive of the game was halted. Big Kedrick “Keman’ Dial, a 6-5 monster on the line, swooped in and bagged Conder for a quarterback sack.

Sulphur Springs began their next drive near middle field and soon the blue and gold cats were marching toward the goal line.

First it was Hill for three yards in the middle. Then Lee threw to Alvin Frazier for nine more yards. Lee called his own number and ran for a first down at the Whitehouse 40. Lee completed three passes in a row to move within the shadow of the goal post. Suggs moved from center to QB to run the offense. He scored on a 1-yard run to cap the possession. The swinging gate wasn’t rusty and worked to perfection. On the trick play, receiver Garrett Ferguson got the ball and rambled over for the two point conversion to give Sulphur Springs a 15-0 lead at the 11:56 mark of the first half.

Whitehouse’s next drive advanced from their own 20 to near midfield. Then a holding call halted the action. Sulphur Springs took over on downs.

Whitehouse got the ball back following a failed Sulphur Springs possession.

This time the visitors drove 58-yards on just three plays. The scoring came on a 35-yard aerial connection from Conder to Metoyer. Taylor Burns added the extra point to make it a 15-7 game with 5:24 left in the first half.

Whitehouse was not through in the half. An interception by Jermaine Kennedy gave them good field possession a the 48-yard line. Two plays later Conder went deep again. This time it was Logan Newton coming up with the grab in traffic near the sidelines for the touchdown. The try for a two point conversion was intercepted by Timmons. The game was a cat fight with the home team holding a 15-13 lead.

The next time Sulphur Springs got the ball, the offense was working well. The Wildcats drove from their own 31 to the end zone on nine plays. Lee’s 32-yard scoring pass to Bryant “Day Day” Jackson, was tipped, but hauled in for the touchdown with 30 seconds left in the second frame. Arellano’s extra point gave Sulphur Springs room to breath, going ahead 22-13.

Sulphur Springs got another scoring shot in the first half as Joe Scott slipped between receivers and came up with an interception, returning the ball to the Whitehouse 28-yard line. Two passes and a field goal attempt all missed the mark and Sulphur Springs had to be content up 22-13 as the bands took the field.

The third quarter opened with Sulphur Springs turning the ball over to the Wildcats from Whitehouse. The visitors took the gift and drove 52-yards on nine plays. Conder scored on a 6-yard run up the middle. The extra point kick was blocked, but Whitehouse had reduced the lead to 22-19.

Sulphur Springs burned up more than three minutes with a drive, but Whitehouse got the ball back on downs.

Taking over at their own 30, Whitehouse put together a 70-yard scoring possession on six plays. The payoff was a 35-yard pass from Conder to Newton. The kick by Burns was perfect and Sulphur Springs was on the short end of a 26-22 score.

Sulphur Springs rallied for 14 points in the final period, assisted by turnovers by the visiting Wildcats

The Sulphur Springs fans went home happy as the defending state champions improved their football record to 2-0 for the year.

Sulphur Springs makes the long trek to Wichita Falls for their next game against Rider in a rematch of a 2008 game which was on ESPN2.




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