Denison senior running back Denard Whitfield has been suspended for the rest of the season due to a violation of team rules, a move that comes as the first-place Yellow Jackets are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot and in the middle of a fight for the District 13-4A title.

Denison senior running back Denard Whitfield has been suspended for the rest of the season due to a violation of team rules, a move that comes as the first-place Yellow Jackets are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot and in the middle of a fight for the District 13-4A title.


"We have a standard and when that standard is not met, there’s consequences," Denison head coach Chad Rogers said. "This team’s fought through adversity all year long."


Whitfield will sit as Denison (5-3, 4-1) travels to Greenville (0-8, 0-5) on Friday at 7:30 p.m., where a victory would put the Jackets in the playoffs for the first time since 2009, as well as the season-finale next Friday against McKinney North at Munson Stadium and any playoff games.


"I can’t comment because of federal law," DISD Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott said. "But it wouldn’t matter if it was the best player or the third-string end or cornerback.


"We run a clean program here, and we’re going to do what’s right and sometimes it hurts to do what’s right. I wish there was another option but there’s not."


Whitfield has 1,334 yards and 15 touchdowns on 169 yards this season. In his 18-game career, Whitfield has 2,307 yards and 28 touchdowns on 355 carries and is 10th on Denison’s all-time rushing list and 11th in rushing touchdowns. He is also tied for 16th on the Jackets’ all-time list with 34 catches. His 13 100-yard games ranks fifth.


The coaching staff told the team on Wednesday morning. Whitfield practiced on Monday and Tuesday.


Seniors Khalil Brown and Eddie Moreno will help fill the void going forward. Brown has 32 carries for 232 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a majority of that — 174 yards and a TD on 17 carries — when Whitfield missed a quarter and a half with a shoulder injury in a 34-10 victory against Royse City three weeks ago. Moreno has 73 yards on seven carries.


"I feel very comfortable with either of them," Rogers said.