SULPHUR SPRINGS — A night that started slow turned into Whitehouse biggest scoring showcase of the season.
So far, that is.
Patrick Mahomes and Coleman Patterson combined for three touchdowns passing, Vincent Dunning ran for three more scores and the Wildcats unleashed a 61-22 victory against Sulphur Springs before a packed homecoming crowd Friday night at Gerald Prim Stadium.
Whitehouse (3-0), No. 4 in this week's AP Class 4A poll, fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter before moving ahead by 17 points at halftime and blasting the game open in the second half. The high-powered Wildcats scored 58 in their season opener and 42 in their second game to enter next week's home opener against Marshall averaging 54 points an outing.
But it didn't appear Game 3 would increase the average in the beginning, evidenced by Mahomes missing on his first six attempts and the Wildcats looking somewhat suspect through the air. But the senior heated up in the second half —- especially in a 20-point third quarter —- to finish 18 of 36 for 386 yards and four touchdowns, moving to more than 1,000 yards passing for the season.
"They had done some things defensively (early on) that we hadn't seen," Whitehouse coach Adam Cook said. "After that I thought we did a great job. That's what I talked about all week; champions don't make excuse, champions make adjustments."
Mahomes' top target all night was Patterson, who caught nine passes for 209 yards and three scores while Dunning contributed 14 carries for 58 yards and three TDs.
Willy Ivery finished with 21 carries for 101 yards and two scores to lead Sulphur Springs, which fell to 1-2 following a loss to Robert E. Lee and a win against Sherman. Sulphur Springs quarterback Larry Pryor finished 21 of 39 for 185 yards and a score.
Whitehouse took a 31-14 lead into the break following an odd first half, during which Mahomes missed on his first six attempts and experienced his worst first-half of the season – 8 of 22 for 152 yards. That said, the Texas Tech pledge still managed a pair of touchdowns to Patterson on throws of 11 and 42 yards – the second, a 42-yarder with 2:22 left on which Patterson made an acrobatic grab in the end zone.
Besides the passing game, what was the story of the half?
That would be Whitehouse's rushing attack, which featured two TDs by Dunning (10 and 9 yards) and 124 team yards. Dunning, whose younger brother, Justin, is out for the season with a torn ACL, finished the half with 12 carries for 58 yards and Mahomes supplied six rushes for 55 yards.
Ivery, meanwhile, put together a strong half on the ground as well. The senior speedster stepped off 11 carries for 77 yards, scoring on runs of 27 and 2 yards.
His first score gave Sulphur Springs a 7-0 lead with 5:55 left in the first quarter, but Whitehouse tied things about two minutes later with Dunning's first score – which Mahomes and Patterson set up with a 54-yard completion. Whitehouse went in front for the first time with Dunning's second TD just under three minutes later.
The half's top special teams play came from Whitehouse sophomore Shemar Smith, who returned a kickoff 70 yards to set up Mahomes 11-yarder to Patterson (7:51 in the second). Mahomes and Patterson, who 5 catches for 107 yards during the half, connected for a second TD to put the visitors ahead by 17 with 2:22 to go.
No. 4 Whitehouse 61, Sulphur Springs 22
At Gerald Prim Stadium, Sulphur Springs
Whitehouse 14 17 20 10 —61
Sulphur Springs 7 7 8 0 —22
SS – Willy Ivery 27 run (Ryan Watson kick), 5:55
WHI – Vincent Dunning 10 run (Travis Blackburn kick), 4:06
WHI – Dunning 9 run (Colby Crim kick), 1:35
WHI – FG Crim 35, 10:28
SS – Ivery 2 run (Watson kick), 8:39
WHI – Coleman Patterson 11 pass from Patrick Mahomes (Blackburn kick), 7:51
WHI – Patterson 42 pass from Mahomes (Crim kick), 2:22
WHI – Patterson 24 pass from Mahomes (Blackburn kick), 6:29
SS – Isaiah Lacy 17 pass form Larry Pryor (Traylon Duffey pass from Pryor), 4:19
WHI – Tre' Staples 1 run (pass failed), 3:16
WHI – Jaylon Dews 5 pass from Mahomes (Blackburn kick), 0:06
WHI – Dunning 1 run (Crim kick), 10:13
WHI – FG Blackburn, 3:10
First Downs 26 16
Rushes-Yards 34-161 41-152
Passing Yards 409 185
Comp.-Att.-Int. 20-42-0 22-39-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 4-2
Penalties-Yards 8-88 14-110
RUSHING – Whitehouse, Vincent Dunning 14-58, Patrick Mahomes 8-52, Dominique Hollie 4-30, Shemar Smith 5-23 Tre' Staples 3-(-2). Sulphur Springs, Willy Ivery 21-101, Mitchell DeYong 10-42, Larry Pryor 7-26, Derek Ingram 1-2, Zach Spigner 1-2, Ryan Watson 1-(-21) .
PASSING – Whitehouse, Mahomes 18-36-0—386, Jackson Allen 2-6-0—23. Sulphur Springs, Pryor 22-39-1—185.
RECEIVING – Whitehouse, Coleman Patterson 9-209, Jake Parker 4-74, Smith 2-34, Jaylon Dews 2-15, Ryan Cheatham 1-42, Kris Boykin 1-28, Staples 1-7. Sulphur Springs, Alex Burney 7-69, Dillon Carpenter 6-49, Isaiah Lacy 4-33, Ben Brooks 2-18, Ivery 2-11, Dustin Fields 1-5.