MUSKEGON — The Whitehall football team’s offense attracts a lot of attention. The Vikings feature several playmakers and average 51.5 points per game.
But in Whitehall’s 42-8 domination of Oakridge in the North Grove Brewers West Michigan Conference Game of the Week Friday night, the story was the Vikings’ fast, physical and swarming defense.
In a matchup of top-five, state-ranked, unbeaten teams, Division 4 No. 2 Whitehall held Division 5 No. 3 Oakridge to 127 yards of offense. Seventy-eight of those yards came on the Eagles’ lone scoring drive early in the fourth quarter after the Vikings built a 42-0 lead.
Whitehall (6-0 overall, 3-0 WMC Lakes Division) took a big step toward winning the divisional title after the Vikings shared the conference championship with Oakridge and Montague last season. Oakridge is now 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the WMC Lakes.
Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark
Here are notables and more details from Friday’s game:
- Whitehall junior quarterback Kyle Stratton assembled another big game. The 5-foot-8, 165-pounder completed 12 of 15 passes for 187 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions and he ran 14 times for a game-high 93 yards and three TDs. Stratton scored on runs of 23, 2 and 23 yards.
- Whitehall senior running back Jackson Cook rumbled for a pair of TDs himself. In the second quarter, he crashed in for scoring runs of 4 and 2 yards. Cook finished with 71 yards on 11 carries.
- Whitehall senior Nate Bolley caught four passes for 81 yards, including a 44-yard TD that made it 35-0 midway through the second quarter.
- Whitehall sophomore Camden Thompson caught three passes for 45 yards.
- Whitehall outgained Oakridge in total offense by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, 366-127. The Vikings dominated the running game as they outgained the Eagles 179-36.
- Whitehall totaled 21 first downs to seven for Oakridge.
- Senior linebacker Jaiden Altgilbers led Whitehall’s dominating defense with six total tackles.
- Whitehall senior linebacker Graycen Shepherd, in his first game since Week 2 coming off an injury, notched five tackles.
- Whitehall junior defensive back Trannon Aylor also made five stops.
- Whitehall junior defensive back Ca’Mar Ready intercepted a pass.
- Oakridge senior QB Matt Danicek completed 12 of 17 passes for 91 yards. He scored the Eagles’ lone TD on a 6-yard scramble with 3:55 remaining in the game.
- Oakridge junior Trever Jones, who was coming off back-to-back 200-yard rushing games, was limited to 23 yards on 13 carries. Jones was the Eagles’ leading pass-catcher on the night with five receptions for 54 yards.
- Oakridge junior Brody Jennings led his team with 11 tackles. Sophomore Bryson Stephenson had 6 1/2 stops.
- Whitehall has outscored opponents this season by a combined 309-70 tally.
- Friday marked Whitehall’s second straight win on Oakridge’s field. The Vikings also defeated the Eagles, 32-18, in the 2020 season, which marked their first victory at Russell A. Erickson Stadium since the late-1990s.
- Last season, Oakridge defeated Whitehall, 32-19, on the Vikings’ home field.
- Next Friday, Whitehall welcomes Ludington (5-1, 3-1 WMC Lakes) on homecoming night. Meanwhile, Oakridge will renew its rivalry with Orchard View (0-6, 0-3 WMC Lakes) with a matchup in the Cardinals’ stadium.
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