|Whitehaven 41, Mt. Juliet 35|
|Saturday, November 24, 2012|
MEMPHIS -- Undefeated Whitehaven held off a determined Mt. Juliet High team for a 41-35 victory over the Golden Bears Friday night at Whitehaven Memorial Stadium.
Ole Miss commitment Mark Dodson was the difference for the Tigers, finishing with 304 yards on 22 carries, bringing his season total to 2,977 yards -- a Shelby County prep record. He also has 32 touchdowns on the year.
Whitehaven took a 28-14 lead at halftime, following a 50-yard touchdown from Patrick Smith to Gerald Perry, who dived between two defenders and gathered in the ball just before it hit the ground.
It proved to be even a bigger play when Mt. Juliet marched downfield after the second half kickoff to make it 28-21 on a Caleb Hopkins run, then scored two plays later to tie it after recovering a pooch kickoff on another Hopkins run.
But Dodson scored on a 56-yard run — using a stutter-step move at the line of scrimmage — to restore Whitehaven's lead. After the Golden Bears battled back to tie it at 35, Dodson ripped off an 88-yard touchdown run to make it 41-35 following a missed extra point.
Dodson fumbled on the Golden Bears' 5 with 2:26 to go though, giving them one last chance. But the Whitehaven defense held at midfield, setting off a celebration.
Hopkins paced the Mt. Juliet attack with 148 yards rushing and three toucdowns. Fullback Contrez McCathern added 98 yards and a pair of scores. QB Nolan Chowbay completed 2-of-10 pass attempts for 35 yards.
Whitehaven advances to the Class 6A state championship game for the second year in a row -- standing 14-0. Mt. Juliet ends the season 12-2.