Huge plays in fourth propel Trojans
Host Shelby November 4 in quarterfinals
October 25, 2017
With their season on the line, the Whitehall/Harrison High School football team stepped up with huge plays in the fourth quarter of their 26-18 win over Shepherd in the first round of the MHSA Class B playoffs.
After taking a 19-0 lead into the half, the Trojans would have to fight off a determined Mustangs squad who cut the lead to 19-18 on a 15-yard run by quarterback Jake Trotter with 6:52 left in the game.
The Trojans would stop Shepherd on the two-point conversion to keep the lead and set the stage for one of their biggest plays of the season. On the next possession, Whitehall quarterback Max Feight connected with Wyatt Alexander for a 42-yard touchdown with 5:26 left in the fourth.
Another huge moment in the fourth was when senior Braden Smith returned to the field after suffering a shoulder midway through the quarter.
Smith said it did not feel good to be away from his teammates. He said there was no better feeling than being able to come back onto the field.
Whitehall would force a fumble on the next Mustangs possession and sealed the game with several key first down runs.
Following the game, head coach Dan Lacey said he was very proud of his team.
“There is no quit in them. Mistakes are going to happen. We had to handle the adversity in the second half and be able to bounce back,” he said.
The fourth-year Trojans coach praised his offensive line in the final quarter.
“They shut us down pretty good in the running game in the beginning, but when we needed it to show up the most, it did,” he said.
It was another strong start in the first half for Whitehall Saturday at Trojans field. Alexander picked off Trotter on the third play of the game, and Whitehall would find the end for the first time when Feight connected with Smith over the middle for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 5:05 left in the opening quarter.
“That was electric,” Smith said about the play. “We knew that play would be open so Max told me he was going to get it to me and it was the perfect connection,” Smith said.
Whitehall would score two touchdowns in the second quarter, the first on a 25-yard pass from Feight to Cade Briggs with 9:15 left in the half. He would find Alexander two-minutes later, this time for a 56-yard touchdown.
“They were double teaming Wyatt and he still made big plays,” Lacey said.
Kohl Michels would score the first Shepherd touchdown early in the third quarter on a three-yard touchdown. He would find the end zone again in the fourth this time on a 25-yard pass from Trotter.
“It took everybody to win. We had to win all three phases,” Lacey said. “And how bout that defense. Two red zone stops. They played their hearts out today.
With the win, Whitehall will advance to the quarterfinals with another home game November 4 against Shelby, the second seed from the north. After losing their first two games of the season, the Coyotes won six of seven games. Shelby (6-3) defeated Bigfork 23-20 in their opening round playoff game.
“We’ve got our hands full. They are studs,” Lacey said. “But I like our chances because our kids don’t have quit in them.”
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.