Whitehall senior quarterback Cody Koons got on a roll early.
On the Rams’ first drive last night, Koons took a snap out of the shotgun, dropped back a couple of steps and floated a pass in the flat to B.J. Upchurch. The 5-foot-8 receiver darted up the sideline and was gone for a 51-yard touchdown.
“It was very important, especially after last week’s tough (triple-overtime) loss to Bloom-Carroll,” Koons said. “That first score was huge to get our confidence up and our momentum going.”
Koons completed three more touchdown passes to help lead Whitehall to a 32-18 home victory over previously unbeaten Whetstone. The Braves (2-1) had been on track to equal their best start since the 2008 season, when they opened 3-0 before finishing 7-3.
Upchurch had an impressive performance, too, with six catches for 151 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the second half.
“I’ve just been working all summer to get like this,” he said. “Everything I’ve been through paid off.”
Although trailing 12-7 at halftime, the Rams (2-1) started strong in the second half. Upchurch, who had 236 all-purpose yards, returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
“Our team needed something to build on,” Upchurch said, “and so I made a play for them.”
Koons added two more scoring passes: a short one to junior receiver Davonte Wilkins and a 44-yarder to Upchurch.
“We found where their safety might have been creeping up a little bit,” said Koons, who finished 11 of 20 passing for 230 yards. “We threw in a little play-action to see if we could catch the seam. It worked well for us. It seemed like they couldn’t stop it.”
The Braves, who beat Africentric 40-0 last week in a game that was forfeited at halftime, grabbed a five-point halftime lead after a 7-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Ramroth Finnegan to junior running back Melek White. Finnegan compiled all the yards on the 86-yard drive, rushing for 63 and throwing for 23.
A 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior, Finnegan kept Whetstone alive, adding a 4-yard touchdown run on a broken play early in the fourth quarter that cut the deficit to seven points. He finished 15 of 41 passing for 188 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He gained 84 yards on 15 carries.
“Nothing but respect for Ramroth,” Koons said. “He’s a fantastic quarterback, who’s got big schools looking at him. He’s going to go somewhere big in life. I’ve got nothing but respect for him. ...
“Their offense put up 40 points in the first half last week. We knew we had to put up a lot of points going into this week.”