The Whetstone High School football team’s leading rusher, Melek White, and leading receiver, David Simmons, were both suspended for its City League-North Division finale against visiting Centennial on Nov. 1.
But even without those players, the Braves didn’t miss a beat as they beat the Stars 42-21 to extend their winning streak against Centennial to 11 games.
Quarterback Ramroth Finnegan was 13-for-18 passing for 193 yards and three touchdowns and running back Austin Davy rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, as Whetstone finished 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the City-North.
Centennial finished 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the City-North, even though quarterback Jeremy Johnson was 16-for-26 passing for 233 yards and three touchdowns, and DarSean Watts rushed for 90 yards on 11 carries.
“This is awesome because we beat our rival and we’re finishing the season with a winning record,” Finnegan said. “We had some younger guys rotating into the game with us missing a few key players, but they did a good job and we just stuck to our game plan and were consistent.”
Playing with a left knee injury that limited his mobility, Finnegan was efficient in the first half, completing nine of 14 passes for 143 yards.
He threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Trent Harper to give Whetstone a 14-0 lead with 4 minutes, 56 seconds left in the first quarter, and added a 3-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Rozell Manley with 22.1 seconds remaining in the second quarter, as the Braves led 35-12 at halftime.
But Johnson threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jirequez Fair-Harris to pull Centennial within 35-21 with 9:28 remaining in the game, and the Stars drove to Whetstone’s 9-yard line on their next possession before turning the ball over on downs.
“Even though we gave up points, we played well defensively,” Whetstone coach Don Poff said. “We had some big stops in the red zone that kept us in the lead.”
Finnegan then threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Davy to put the Braves up 42-21 with 1:06 left.
“We got down big in this game, but we kept playing hard and came back to make it close,” Watts said. “We just needed to keep scoring and we fell a little bit short.”
W—North 3 run (Davy kick)
W—Harper 71 pass from Finnegan (Davy kick)
C—Patterson 6 pass from Johnson (kick failed)
C—Fair-Harris 10 pass from Johnson (pass failed)
W—Bester 85 kickoff return (Davy kick)
W—Davy 12 run (Davy kick)
W—Manley 3 pass from Finnegan (Davy kick)
C—Weishaupt 25 FG
C—Fair-Harris 38 pass from Johnson (kick failed)
W—Davy 10 pass from Finnegan (Davy kick)