WHITE PLAINS — White Plains’ homecoming game against Anniston on Friday night turned into a defensive struggle between two 4A Region 6 foes in search of ending a losing streak, and the Bulldogs fended off a late Wildcat drive to take the game 7-0.
White Plains had the ball on the Anniston 10 with a chance to tie or take the lead with inside a minute remaining, but the Bulldogs’ defense stood strong, sacking Wildcat quarterback Jaden Chatman on fourth down with just 24.8 left to clinch the game.
Anniston scored the only points of the game in the second quarter, when quarterback Tyree Carmichael 22-yard connection to Mondrecko Thompson. Kevin Escareno nailed the extra point attempt to cap off the only completed drive of the night for either team.
Carmichael was the only reliable source of offense at times on the night for Anniston, rushing for 97 yards on 15 carries to go with his 29 yards and touchdown through the air.
What to know
—There were more punts than points in the defensive battle. The two teams combined for 12 punts, six apiece, to the seven points that Anniston managed.
—The two teams showed very similar production on offense, as Anniston tallied 183 total yards to White Plains’ 184. White Plains couldn’t capitalize with points on two separate drives that reached inside the Bulldogs’ 10.
—Each team turned the ball over once, with Anniston’s Damecus Thomas picking off a White Plains pass, while White Plains’ Mac Young fell on a muffed handoff from the Bulldogs. Neither team was able to convert those opportunities into points.
—Jaden Harris was the main threat on offense for White Plains, picking up 65 rushing yards on 13 carries.
—John Foster had a dominant defensive game for Anniston, picking up 11 tackles overall, including four for loss and 1.5 sacks.
—Anniston’s Tyree Carmichael on the game: “The offense didn’t score as we should, but the defense picked it up for us. I had some nice blocks by my offensive line and receivers, and they opened up some lanes for us.”
—Anniston Coach Rico White on his team breaking a three-game losing streak: “We’re going in the right direction. We’ve lost to some good teams, but we’re young mentally, so this win tonight is big. White Plains fought their hearts out.”
—White on the defensive battle: “The second half turned into a defensive game. This isn’t the old White Plains team. It’s a team that’s growing and a program that’s growing. We had our hands full, but we pulled it out.”
—White on Foster’s defensive performance: “He’s the smallest guy out here, but you can’t beat heart. He did a great job.”
—Anniston picks up their third win overall and their third in Class 4A, Region 6. The Bulldogs (3-4, 3-2) return home next week to take on region opponent Oneonta. White Plains falls to 2-5 (1-4), and will travel to undefeated Jacksonville next Friday.