Photos by Amy Yonkman and Zach Zweigle | CatchMark
WHITEHALL — Because of a withdrawal by Mason County Central prior to this season, Whitehall’s football team was forced to find a new homecoming opponent for Week 6.
Who better to fill that vacancy than Mason County Central’s neighbor, which happens to be a future league opponent for Whitehall?
Alec Pruett and the Vikings kept rolling Friday night, as the senior rushed for 308 yards and the defense pitched a fourth-straight shutout en route to a 49-0 victory over Ludington.
Whitehall improves to 5-1 overall. Ludington (2-4) is one of six schools that will be joining the West Michigan Conference beginning in the 2022-23 academic year.
“You don’t get many opportunities to play high school football; you only get nine games guaranteed,” Whitehall coach Tony Sigmon said. “Credit to those guys for wanting to fill (Mason County Central’s) vacancy.
“The great part about this is that this is going to be a future league game. There is a certain emphasis on that, too. … making sure we get our feet wet.”
Whitehall took charge out of the gate, as the Vikings scored six first-half touchdowns. Pruett upped the ante on an already big season with his first 300-yard game, accomplishing the feat on just 18 carries. He scored two touchdowns on first-half runs covering 14 and 49 yards, respectively.
It was his sixth-straight 100-yard game and puts him at exactly 1,000 yards on the season.
The humble Pruett had little to say about himself after the feat.
“I just give all the credit to my O-line — they are out there blocking their butts off for me,” he said. “We have so many weapons, there is so many guys that can win us football games.”
The offensive versatility depicted by Pruett was extremely evident in the win. Kyle Stratton, Nate Bolley and Jackson Cook also rushed for TDs on the night.
Stratton, a sophomore quarterback, gained some confidence in the air as he was 6 of 9 passing for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Bolley was the target on both scoring plays.
“Everyone made good plays tonight,” Stratton said. “I can trust my wide receivers and I love that about them.”
Whitehall’s offense seemed to be firing on all cylinders. The Vikings amassed 587 yards.
“That was one of the most efficient nights we had passing, which is really important this time of year, and we ran the ball really well,” Sigmon said.
Whitehall’s defensive performance was equally as impressive, as they held the Orioles to 142 total yards and continued to play shutout football.
The Vikings had seven defenders with more than three tackles, led by Jaiden Altgilbers with 4 1/2 stops. Red Watson picked off a pass.
“The defensive front that they were giving us was one that we had put a plan of emphasis on,” said Sigmon, whose squad is scheduled to play at Hart next Friday.
Trey Forfinski was 5-of-12 passing for 39 yards for Ludington, which faces another tough game next week at home against Belding. Wilson Gunsell was 5-of-8 for 31 yards for the Orioles.
Aidan Gilchrist, Daniel Rameriz and Gage Jones notched five tackles apiece for Ludington.
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