Wildcats fall to Tigers but clinch playoff spot

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It’s a numbers thing.

Corsicana defeated Whitehouse 27-10 last week but the Wildcats still clinched a spot in the playoffs.

Whitehouse fell to 2-2 in the District 17-5A standings, but Jacksonville upset Lindale 25-15 and both stand at 1-3 in the standings. The Wildcats will advance because of the scoring difference in their 24-7 win over Jacksonville earlier in the schedule.

The Tigers, meanwhile, are set up for a winner-take-all, district title match with Ennis Friday, Nov. 10. Both are 4-0 and the winner will claim the championship.

Corsicana jumped out to a 13-3 lead in the first quarter last week and the Tigers were able to add a touchdown in the second period and a 20-3 halftime lead.

The Whitehouse defense stiffened in the third stanza and the offense was able to score a touchdown to cut the Corsicana lead to 20-10. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their offense stalled and was unable to mount a scoring drive the remainder of the game. The Tigers added an insurance touchdown late in the game for the 27-10 victory.

Senior quarterback Jake Clemons tossed five errant passes that were picked off by the Corsicana defense. He did complete 18 of his 28 attempts for 182 yards and a touchdown, but the five turnovers stopped one drive after another during the contest.

Freshman signal-caller Flint Herrington had three attempts but he was largely ineffective with minus-2 yards on one completion. He at least did not toss an interception.

With the passing game problems the Wildcats needed a good ground attack. They didn’t get one. With Clemons scrambling to elude the Corsicana pass rush he lost 28 yards on the ground. Whitehouse had a net of 22 rushing yards with Clayton Cook as the leading rusher with 27 yards on nine carries.

Javier Neal caught six pass receptions for 65 yards to lead the receiving corps. Cameron Cantrell had five receptions for 59 yards.

Whitehouse will host Lindale at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, for the final game of the regular season for both teams.

Lindale is 4-5 for the season and 1-3 in District 17-5A competition. The Eagles opened loop action with a 35-31 victory over Nacogdoches, but lost the last three, including a 38-0 setback to Ennis, a 34-24 loss to Corsicana and a 25-15 defeat to Jacksonville.

In the loss to Corsicana, Lindale trailed 35-10 before scoring two late touchdowns to make the score more respectable. During the game, running back Jordan Robinson rushed for 129 yards on 29 carries and Heinaman passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Brennan Moore and Cooper Azbell were the leading receivers.

Lindale rallied for 13 fourth-quarter points to pull out a victory over the Dragons. Robinson rushed for 133 yards, Heinaman passed for 182 yards and the leading receiver was Colton Brown with 101 yards and two touchdowns.

In the loss to Jacksonville last week, Heinaman ran for one score and threw for another.

The Eagles and the Wildcats have played each other every season since 2012. Whitehouse won last year’s encounter 28-17, but the Eagles won the 2015 game (41-25) and an overtime victory (27-24) in 2014. The Wildcats own a 9-6 series edge over the Eagles since the 1996 season. The two squads did not play each other every season. The Wildcats won five consecutive games from 1993 to 1997, but the Eagles are 5-4 in games since 2002.

Lindale is scoring an average of 21.1 points per game this season, while Whitehouse is scoring an average of 19.3 points per contest. Defensively, the Eagles are allowing an average of 25.8 points per contest, and Whitehouse is allowing an average of 22.8 points per game.

In pre-district action this season, the Eagles lost to Kaufman (19-14); defeated Forney (30-17); lost to Van (41-17); defeated Terrell (35-17); and defeated Gladewater (20-10).

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