White Pigeon @ Whiteford Preview

By Frank Vajcner

Whiteford and White Pigeon will meet for the first time on the gridiron in The Woods on Friday. The Bobcats are a blue blood, while the Chiefs are in their best stretch of postseason football, having qualified for the postseason the last five seasons.

Whiteford Bobcats (11-0, TCC)


Defeated Addison 64-22 

Defeated Riverview Gabriel Richard 56-19

The Bobcats have not missed a beat in the first year under Todd Thieken, as they have reached the Regional round for the sixth time in the last ten seasons. Offensively, they average 50.5 points per game. Leading the way is senior QB Shea Ruddy (1108 passing yards, 19 TDs; 539 rushing yards, 11 TDs). Ruddy has been a four-year starter, and also broke the school records for passing yards, completions, and touchdowns. 

Ruddy’s favorite targets have been RB/WR Hunter DeBarr (16 catches, 361 yards, 7 TDs), TE Ryin Ruddy (13 catches, 258 yards, 8 TDs), and TE Kolby Masserant (18 catches, 367 yards, 3 TDs). DeBarr also leads the way in rushing (112 carries, 977 yards, 8 TDs). Fellow RBs Jake Iott (113 carries, 930 yards, 19 TDs) and Drew Knaggs (74 carries, 420 yards, 6 TDs) will also carry the mail for the Bobcats. Iott also has 31 two-point conversions on the season.

An experienced offensive line, with Kyle Gray at center, Shane Suchora and Brayden Luse at the guards, and Jack Iott and Owen Knaggs at the tackles, has been key in the Bobcats averaging 8.1 yards per play.

On defense, Whiteford has allowed 11.4 points per game, and has recorded 20 takeaways. Leading the way is Jake Iott (51 solo tackles, 13 TFLs, seven sacks, five fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles), at linebacker. Seamus Waterford (nine sacks) has been a force at DE, while the secondary has been anchored by Ryin Ruddy (11 PBU, 4 interceptions), Shea Ruddy (17 PBUs), and DeBarr (12 PBUs, interception).

White Pigeon Chiefs (8-3, Southwest-10)


Defeated Centreville 30-12

Defeated Reading 34-20

The Chiefs, led by head coach Shawn Strawser in his fifth season, have taken their game to another level since a win over St. Charles in Week 5. They have gone on to win their last six games, with both playoff wins coming against teams that they lost to in the regular season. 

White Pigeon will run the ball more than 90 percent of the time on offense. Leading the way are James Stewart (163 carries, 908 yards, 12 TDs), Dom Fracheti (91 carries, 628 yards, 8 TDs) and Caleb Lane (64 carries, 455 yards, 13 TDs). The Chiefs have only thrown the ball 13 times all season, while completing four of those passes. Interestingly, Chris Jackson has been on the receiving end of all four completions, with three going for touchdowns.

Headliners on a defense that allows 15.7 points per contest include Seth Miller (86 tackles, 6.5 TFL, forced fumble, fumble recovery, interception), John Bontrager (48 tackles, six TFL, four PBU, forced fumble, interception), Nate Irwin (28 tackles, nine TFL, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles), and Jimmy Chaney (25 tackles, four interceptions).

Outlook: The difference in this game will be the depth of skill by the Bobcats. The Chiefs are far from a pushover, but they will likely be overmatched in The Woods.

Frank: Whiteford 42 White Pigeon 20

Chris: Whiteford 40 White Pigeon 18

Gary: Whiteford 45 White Pigeon 20

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