Whiteland head coach Darrin Fisher said whoever had the ball last was going to win Friday’s game against Plainfield.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Despite leading by a dozen with 9:43 to go, the Warriors wound up on the short end of a 50-47 shootout with the Quakers.
“Two football teams were putting a lot of pressure on each other,” Fisher said. “Our guys did fight, but (Plainfield) made one more play than we did.”
Whiteland (2-6, 2-3 Mid-State) gave up a touchdown on Plainfield’s first possession, but when the Warriors got the ball back, Ryan Hammond rushed it 11 yards for a touchdown. A two-point conversion made it 8-7.
The Quakers put two more touchdowns on the board before the end of the first half, but Hammond and backfield mate Jake Perry could not be slowed down, and touchdowns by both helped Whiteland go into the half with a 22-21 edge.
Following a 22-yard run by Matt Luechtefeld, quarterback Iyan Pelfree found Hammond for Hammond’s third touchdown of the night, but a huge hole in the middle of the field on the ensuing kickoff allowed the Quakers to tie up the game at 28-28 with 6:50 to go in the third quarter.
A 42-yard kickoff return by Trevor Larence on the kickoff put the Warriors at the 1-yard line, and Hammond walked it in on the next play.
Plainfield regained the lead, 35-34, at the 4:52 mark of the third period, but Hammond opened the fourth with a touchdown and Perry added a 9-yard scoring run after a fumbled kickoff by the Quakers to put Whiteland ahead by 12 points.
The Warriors hurt themselves with a bobbled kickoff of their own, however, allowing Plainfield to get the ball right back after they had cut it to 47-42 with 5:49 on the clock. The Quakers put together a methodical drive and scored the winning touchdown with 1:35 left.
“We made some mistakes on special teams and we needed the recovery,” Fisher said.
Whiteland had a chance to attempt a game-tying field goal, but the kick was blocked as time expired.