11/15/10 — Prep football notebook

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Prep football notebook

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on November 15, 2010 1:47 PM

Shane Whitley took the handoff from Taylor McGill, followed his blocker and broke loose for a 14-yard gain.

Whitley got tangled up between two South Davidson defenders and didn't immediately pop up when officials blew the play day. The Rosewood fullback lay on the ground holding his right ankle.

A sparse crowd grew silent as trainers rushed onto the field to attend to Whitley. His teammates took a knee, but McGill removed his helmet and sat beside Whitley while the trainers tried to assess the injury.

"Aw, man," said McGill. "The same thing happened to me a couple of weeks before. It's not the best thing that can happen."

Trainers untied Whitley's ankle brace that resembles a Rubik's Cube. Once the trainers removed the brace, they tested the ankle for any significant damage. A minute or two later, Whitley gingerly put weight on his right foot and walked off the field under his own power.

It was Whitley's last carry of the night.

"He's doing fine," said Rosewood coach Robert Britt. "He could have gone back into the game, but I didn't feel like there was any need to (put him back in). It was great to give our backup fullback (Corey Dickerson) some reps."

Whitley sat on the bench the remainder of the third period, and then walked the sideline with his teammates during the final quarter.

More on the offense

South Davidson held a 52-51 edge in offensive plays.

The Eagles averaged 4.7 yards per play, while the Wildcats collected 3.5 yards each down.

McGill credited Rosewood's line -- Matt Younts, Josh Clark, Andrew Henn, Jacob Guthrie and Bobby Semler. The quintet sustained blocks and allowed Rosewood to dominate the time of possession for the first three quarters.

"They all did excellent," said McGill.

Whitley continued his late-season surge with another 100-yard effort. Jyhkia Applewhite provided three touchdowns, including an energizing 56-yard punt return in the opening quarter. Dickerson finished with 48 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown gallop.

"I thought they outplayed us on the offensive line," said South Davidson head coach Mike Crowell. "I thought we would match up a little bit better there, but they beat us up front early in the game. They had a real good game plan ... executed it real well."

Rosewood recorded its biggest offensive outburst (35 points) in a playoff game since 2003 when it lost 42-40 at Robersonville Roanoke.

Playing good 'D'

The Eagles' defense permitted 181 yards, but just 73 on the ground.

Wooten and Dickerson each picked off a pass.

Dickerson, Will Winslow and T.J. Frost logged seven tackles apiece in the victory. Greg Cavanaugh contributed six stops, while Wooten and Guthrie each notched five tackles.

"They're a run-heavy team and I thought we did real good against the run," said Britt. "We said it was going to be important to take that away from them. The one score ... our corner was all over (Dane Hill), but their kid (Brandon Hughes) made a good throw and (Hill had) a good catch."

Poor turnout

Good, vocal crowds have been the norm at Branch Pope Field this season, but Friday evening was an exception.

Where were the fans?

A sparse, quiet crowd attended the opening-round home playoff game. It was the first time the Eagles have played host to a postseason opponent since 2004. Rosewood snapped a seven-game skid in the playoffs.

"We want to go far in the playoffs, so we're doing everything we can in practice and on the field to win," said McGill.