Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark
MANISTEE — Much is made of the Whitehall football team’s explosive offense and for good reason. The Vikings have playmakers all over the place.
Don’t overlook the defense. Whitehall posted its second shutout in as many West Michigan Conference Lakes Division games, blanking Manistee 35-0 in a battle of unbeatens and top-five-ranked teams Friday night at Mariners Field.
Whitehall defeated rival Montague by the same score last week in the “Battle for the Bell.” The Vikings have posted shutouts in all three of their road games.
Entering Friday’s matchup, Whitehall was ranked No. 2 in Division 4 in the latest Associated Press Michigan high school football polls, while Manistee was No. 3 in Division 6.
Whitehall remains perfect at 5-0 overall and goes to 2-0 in the WMC Lakes. The Vikings, who went 11-1 last season, have won 14 straight regular-season games.
Manistee is now 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the WMC Lakes.
Here are more details and notables from the game:
- Whitehall built a 28-0 halftime lead, capping it with a touchdown on an untimed final play. Senior quarterback Kyle Stratton lofted a well-thrown ball toward the end zone and speedy senior slot receiver Malcolm Earvin ran under it for a 36-yard scoring connection.
- Stratton had a hand in all five touchdowns. He opened the game’s scoring with a 14-yard run in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Stratton threw TD passes to Earvin and seniors Trannon Aylor (48 yards) and Ca’Mar Ready (37 yards). In the first few minutes of the second half, Stratton scored on a 4-yard run.
- Stratton finished 14-of-15 passing for 219 yards with no interceptions. He ran 11 times for a team-high 66 yards.
- Aylor made five receptions for 84 yards. On his TD reception, Aylor outjumped the Manistee defensive back and discarded him, leaving nobody between Aylor and the goal line.
- Earvin had four catches for 60 yards.
- Senior Kyler Frees went 5-for-5 on his PATs, the last of which made it 35-0 and got the mercy-rule running clock going.
- Aylor also made his presence felt from his safety spot, finishing with four solo tackles and three assists.
- Whitehall senior Everett Napier had three solo tackles, four assists, and a sack.
- Whitehall junior Camden Thompson had two solos and five assists.
- Whitehall junior Parker Mott made two solo tackles and had 11 assists.
- Whitehall senior Jason Smith notched two solos and had seven assists. He also had a tackle for loss.
- Whitehall senior Trenton TenBrock had two solo tackles and seven assists.
- Whitehall senior Jamar Hill made two solo tackles to go with six assists. He also had a tackle for loss.
- Manistee junior Kaden Kott led his team with 73 rushing yards on 15 carries.
- Manistee senior Nick Hornkohl paced the defense with 10 tackles.
- Whitehall outgained Manistee in total offense, 384-108, despite the Mariners holding an edge in total plays over the Vikings, 54-49.
- Whitehall hosts Oakridge (3-2, 2-1) next Friday, while Manistee takes on rival Ludington (3-2, 2-1) on homecoming night next Friday.
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