Can anyone beat Whitehouse?
Seriously, when the Wildcats show up at Tiger Stadium to face Corscana’s Tigers on Friday night, will the crowd and the Tigers be looking at the next state champs?
That’s how impressive Whitehouse and its wunderkind quarterback Patrick Mahomes have been this season.
Mahomes, the son of a former Major League pitcher, has shredded teams for the last two years. He threw for 3,849 yards and 46 touchdowns as a junior and has led Whitehouse to an 8-0 record this year.
The Wildcats are ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Class 4A state poll, but some wonder if they’re not the best 4A team in the state. They’re averaging 60 points and 611 yards of offense every Friday night.
This Friday they will be in Corsicana.
But then again, the Tigers might just be the team to beat Whitehouse.
Say what you will about Corsicana’s uneven season (1-6 an 0-3 in District 16-4A), but the Tigers have an offense that can move the ball against anyone. The Tigers racked up more than 600 yards of offense in last week’s 42-26 loss to Lindale, and have moved the ball during the entire season.
It could be a shootout on Friday night.
After all, this is the same Corsicana team that scored 65 points, and lost 77-65 to Sulphur Springs.
There’s one huge problem.
“Everybody talks about their offense, and they have a great offense, but I think they have the best defense in the district,’’ said Corsicana Coach Steve Hoffman said. “They fly to the ball. I think they have a better defense than Tyler. They run to the ball and make plays, and they make big plays.
"We can’t squander any opportunities we get,’’ he said referring to last week when his team missed chances to score.
Donavan Fields rushed for 244 yards and QB Devontay Bell ran for 242 and threw for 164 more, and the Tigers still ended up on the short end.
Corsicana couldn’t get a break and two fluke plays were costly — a 58-yard return to the 12 on an onside kick that set up a TD, and a remarkable fumble on what appeared to be a 35-yard TD run by Donavan Fields, who had the ball knocked away just as he crossed the goal line.
Now the Tigers need a lot of breaks in the final two weeks to have any hope of making the playoffs. Most of that hope died with the loss to Lindale (1-3 in District 16-4A), but if Jacksonville (0-3) beats Lindale on Friday there could be an open door for the Tigers to reach the postseason.
If Lindale loses Friday and Corsicana pulls off the biggest upset in the state against Whitehouse and then beats Jacksonville on the final week, the Tigers are in the playoffs.
There might be a couple of other longshot scenarios, but that’s the simplest version.
Beating Whitehouse could make Corsicana’s season, ironically just one week after the toughest loss of the season.
“The kids were very disappointed,’’ Hoffman said. “We were very confident going into that game (against Lindale). I’m disappointed in our record, but by no means am I disappointed in the kids. They came back this week and have worked hard this week. They’re excited about playing Whitehouse.’’
Mahomes can torch teams or pick them apart, and he’s got three receivers who have more than 400 yards in receptions. Jake Parker (41 receptions for 806 yards and six TDs), Coleman Patterson (38 for 696 and eight TDs) and Jaylon Dews (33 for 424 and eight TDs).
Mahomes has competed 162 of 265 passes for 2,652 yards and 31 touchdowns and he’s been intercepted only three times.
“He’s a great quarterback,’’ Hoffman said. “He throws the ball well and he makes good decisions. The thing people don’t realize is he runs the ball real well, too. He’s a double threat.’’
Hoffman also knows the pace of the game could be even wilder than the 77-65 night against Sulphur Springs.
“I’ll tell you what, they score quickly, they really score fast,’’ he said. “Or they can drive it down the field on you.’’
Still, he believes in his kids.
“When we play to our capabilities we can be a pretty good football team,” he said. “We just haven’t seen it come together yet. There’s no better time than this Friday night.’’