Whiteland’s Warriors football team celebrates their second IHSAA regional championship. The Warriors first regional title came in Class 3A in 1999.
By Doug Clements / Pro Motion Photos
The Whiteland-Plainfield rematch started out rough Friday for both teams with turnovers on each of their first drives in an IHSAA regional championship game. Neither team could get traction until late in the first quarter when Kevin Denham connected on a 27-yard TD pass to Gunnar Hicks for a 6-0 lead (P.A.T. failed).
The second quarter saw Whiteland push their lead to 21-0 and things appeared to be heading to a blowout but Plainfield thought differently. They methodically drove down the field and pulled within 21-7 just before the half.
The third quarter was a repeat of the first as both teams could not get any movement on offense until Plainfield’s Noah Hessong burst through the middle of the line for a 33 yard TD pulling the Quakers within 21-14 of Whiteland.
That’s when the will of Whiteland took over. Just under a minute into the fourth quarter, Nyrius Moore-Smith answered with his own 33-yard run for a TD to make it 28-14. Three plays after kicking to Plainfield, Moore-Smith jumped in front of a Hunter Newell pass and took it to the house and a 35-14 Warrior lead.
The rest of the game was all Whiteland with Slate Valentine and Jakarrey Oliver each scoring to push the lead to the final score of 49-14.
Whiteland has earned a trip to Newburgh to face unranked Castle in a semifinal matchup Friday.