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White County defense stuffs Chestatee, 35-0

War Eagles lose Degraff again to injury as offense sputters

POSTED: October 21, 2011 10:51 p.m.

A dominating defensive effort produced White County's first shutout in two seasons, but wasn't enough to keep the Warriors' playoff hopes alive.

White County held Chestatee to less than 100 yards of offense, forced two turnovers and blocked a punt in a 35-0 win Friday at War Eagle Stadium.

The Warriors (2-6, 1-3 Region 8-AAA North) ended a four-game slide, but were eliminated from playoff contention by Franklin County's win over North Hall.

Dalton Whitfield had two touchdown runs, and Ryan Kennedy, Will Stonecypher and Michael Limbaugh also ran for scores.

But the win was about the Warriors' defense, a unit that has kept first-year coach Bill Ballard's young team in a lot of games against more experienced competition.

"Really proud of our kids tonight and throughout the season," said Ballard, who came to White County after successful stints at Tucker and Peachtree Ridge. "We've fought through a lot this year and suffered a lot of close losses, but our kids kept fighting. It feels good to win."

Senior linebacker Justin Grizzle, who Ballard called the "heart and soul of our defense" had a fumble recovery, as did Whitfield. Both recoveries came deep inside Chestatee territory and led to touchdowns.

Kennedy's 10-yard tackle-breaking burst put White County up 7-0 early in the second quarter.

Chestatee fumbled on its next play from scrimmage, and five plays later, Whitfield plowed in from 10 yards out to make it 14-0.

Things snowballed from there, as Chestatee turned it over again on its next possession, leading to Stonecypher's 7-yard touchdown run that put White County up 21-0 at the half.

Will Flowers blocked a punt in the third quarter, setting up Limbaugh's short touchdown run that topped off the scoring.

The War Eagles (3-5, 0-4 Region 8-AAA North) didn't cross midfield and had only one first down until their last drive, way after the outcome had been decided.

For Chestatee, the loss spoiled Senior Night, but does not tarnish the senior class' legacy, coach Stan Luttrell and his staff said.

"Our seniors have been a great group to coach," Luttrell said. "They've done everything we've asked both on and off the field and will leave a legacy of hard work, a legacy that will help our program grow. That's all we can ask."

Promising Chestatee junior quarterback Jordan Degraff reinjured his ankle that has hampered him for much of the season. The War Eagles were 3-0, before Degraff went down in an Week 5 loss to Monroe Area. He's been in and out of the lineup ever since and didn't appear to be able to put any weight on his left ankle as he was helped off the field in the fourth quarter.

Montrai Tate (nine carriers, 28 yards) and Brandon Thompson (10 carriers, 25 yards) led the War Eagles attack.



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