MESQUITE — On the way to proving themselves on a state-wide level, Whitehouse turned many heads with an impressive performance against John Tyler last week.
And with the postseason having arrived, the Wildcats drawn another tradition-rich program this week — Ennis.
Today, the Wildcats (9-1) and Lions (8-2) meet in a Class 4A Division II bi-district playoff at Mesquite Memorial Stadium. The matchup features up-and-coming Whitehouse against traditional power Ennis, an owner of three state titles since the turn of the century.
Whitehouse enters the matchup on the heels of a dramatic 45-38 loss to second-ranked John Tyler, a classic showdown for the District 16-4A title in front of more than 12,000 fans. Ennis also heads into the following a loss, but the Lions have dropped back-to-back games against Lancaster (51-14) and Waxahachie (16-0).
Whitehouse quarterback Patrick Mahomes earned Class 4A’s Built Ford Tough Player of the Week honor with his performance against John Tyler, in which the junior completed 28 of 57 passes for 445 yards with five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing). The first-year starting quarterback now has 3,061 yards and 37 touchdowns on the season, plus has rushed for six scores.
Fellow junior Jake Parker moved into the team lead in receptions last week, having caught 55 passes for 770 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Senior Dylan Cantrell, a Texas Tech pledge, has 52 catches for a team-high 1,024 yards and 12 scores.
Unlike their state-championship teams, Ennis likes to run the football these days. Lions running back Terence Williams leads the way with 185 carries for 1,174 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Nick Gabriel is second on the team in rushing with 118 carries for 698 yards and 11 TDs.
Quarterback Brandon Adams has completed 67 of 151 passes for 974 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The winner will meet either Sulphur Springs (8-2) or Wylie East (7-3) in the area round. Whitehouse has built a rivalry with Sulphur Springs in recent seasons, and beat the Wildcats 38-33 earlier this year.
Whitehouse is in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. The Wildcats’ best run during the span came 2006, when they advanced to the third round and finished 10-3.