WHITEWRIGHT — With a chance to get district play off on the right foot, Blue Ridge jumped to an early lead and then put the game away in the fourth quarter for a 38-7 victory in 9-3A (II) action.
Blue Ridge (3-2, 1-0) joined defending district champ Cooper and Bells as the only teams without a district loss after two weeks and were able to get there by beating former head coach Kevin Wiggins, who took over at Whitewright (3-3, 0-2) this season.
Even though Whitewright has already surpassed its win total from a year ago, it will look to regroup with the bye this week before playing at Cooper on Oct. 18. Blue Ridge faces Cooper this week.
Garrett Mathers finished with 161 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while Tyson Walters threw for 164 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 56 yards on 16 attempts to pace Blue Ridge.
Dylan Cordell led Whitewright with three receptions for 72 yards and a score while Ryne Godbey added four catches for 67 yards and Aaron Pitt chipped in four catches for 63 yards and Trevor McCartney totaled three catches for 56 yards.
Marshall Mangrum threw for 258 yards but was 14-of-37 passing with a pair of interceptions as Whitewright struggled to get anything going on the ground, finishing with just 16 carries for 20 yards as a team.
Blue Ridge won the toss and deferred but Whitewright was unable to get anything going on its first possession.
Then Blue Ridge only needed six plays to go 53 yards with most of it coming on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Tyson Walters to Chance Dotson less than four minutes into the contest.
With 2:57 remaining in the quarter Blue Ridge scored again, this time on a pass from Walters to Utah Porath for 62 yards.
Whitewright lost a fumble and Blue Ridge cashed in the turnover with Mathers’ 31-yard TD run with 1:13 left in the first for the 21-0 advantage.
Whitewright was able to cut into the deficit in the second quarter on Marshall Mangrum’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Cordell late in the half.
There was enough time left — 1:24 — that Blue Ridge was able to get in position for David Orduna to kick a 36-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the quarter and give the visiting Tigers a 24-7 lead at the break.
Whitewright kept the margin there during a scoreless third quarter as the home team was unable to take advantage of a pair of interceptions from Aaron Pitt.
Blue Ridge pulled away when it scored in the first minute of the fourth quarter when Walters found Dotson again, this time for 15 yards and Slater James capped the scoring with a four-yard run with just over two minutes remaining.