WHITEWRIGHT — A fast start by Whitewright helped the Tigers earn their first victory of the season with a 41-27 win against Blue Ridge in non-district action on Friday night.
The home team gained all 453 yards on the ground as Dylan Cordell led the way with 161 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and Neal Taylor added 15 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
After trading possessions to open the game, Whitewright (1-1) took over at its 39-yard and it didn’t take long for Taylor to find his way into the end zone for the first score of the night with 8:56 left in the first quarter.
Whitewright then made it a 14-0 lead after getting hit with a penalty and losing a fumble when Cordell rushed 37 yards for a touchdown just before the end of the quarter.
Blue Ridge (1-1) didn’t have possession long as Seth Williams recovered a fumble only seconds into its drive at the start of the second period.
Whitewright couldn’t do anything on that drive and penalties hurt the attempt to add to the lead.
The teams traded possessions once again and Austin Jones capped the Whitewright scoring drive with a three-yard run at the 4:39 mark of the second quarter for a 21-0 advantage.
Blue Ridge answered quickly. Tyson Walters found Joel Linn for a 36-yard touchdown only a little over a minute into their possession and trailed, 21-6, at half-time. Linn finished with seven catches for 150 yards.
Another Walters-to-Linn touchdown for 75 yards with 3:01 remaining in the third quarter trimmed the margin to 21-12 after the conversion failed.
Taylor rushed for another touchdown — this time for 36 yards — to bump the score up to 27-12 in Whitewright’s favor with just over a minute left in the third.
Blue Ridge scored again with another TD catch by Linn for 19 yards less than three minutes into the fourth quarter and Garrett Mathers ran in the conversion to cut the deficit to seven points.
Dylan Pitt provided a cushion with a 37-yard touchdown run a few plays later and then Jones, who had seven carries for 58 yards, broke the game open with a five-yard run with five minutes left.
Blue Ridge closed out the scoring on a Mathers two-yard run with three seconds remaining.
Whitewright hosts Tom Bean this week while Blue Ridge hosts Honey Grove as non-district play continues.