Whitefield Academy downs Mercy 58-24

Fri, 10/26/2007 - 10:02pm
By: Kevin Wandra
VIDEO — The Our Lady of Mercy Bobcats are in the process of laying the foundation for a winning football program. It’s inevitable that the Bobcats are going to take their lumps along the way.

Whitefield Academy delivered some lumps Friday in a 58-24 victory over Mercy in a Region 5-A game in Fairburn.

The game was close late in the first half as Mercy (4-4, 1-2 in the region) was down only 28-17. But Whitefield answered with two touchdowns in the final 2 minutes of the first half and never looked back.

Turnovers plagued Mercy, which finished with six (five fumbles, one interception). Mercy coach Bryan Pinabell felt that his team’s turnovers were the difference.

“You can’t turn the ball over six times and win a football game like that,” Pinabell said. “Whitefield Academy beat us, but we also beat ourselves. We’ve made some great strides this season, but we still have a long, long, long way to go.”

The loss dropped Mercy into a tie with Eagles Landing Christian Academy for third place in the region. A win would have put the Bobcats in a three-way tie for second place in the region with Fellowship Christian and Landmark Christian.

Whitefield Academy jumped all over Mercy early, scoring on its first three possessions in the first quarter to take a 21-0 lead. Running back Patrick Sipp scored two of the three touchdowns, on 3- and 1-yard runs.

The Wolfpack recovered Dominique McDermott’s fumble on the kickoff following Sipp's second touchdown and converted the turnover into another touchdown, a 15-yard pass from Trey Miller to Sipp that gave Whitefield a commanding four-touchdown lead.

Mercy was down, but as it has shown this season, its high-powered offense usually means no lead is safe, as Whitefield found out.

The Bobcats roared back in the second quarter, scoring 17 consecutive points to slash Whitefield’s lead to 28-17.

Mercy’s Jacob Lescene started the comeback with a 33-yard field goal. Then Mercy quarterback William Pearl directed the offense to touchdowns on back-to-back series, scoring on a 1-yard dive and throwing a screen pass to McDermott, who weaved his way through Whitefield’s defense, breaking multiple tackles, on a 39-yard catch-and-run.

Just when it seemed as though Whitefield was reeling, Miller dashed Mercy’s comeback hopes by returning the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, then he threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Douglas German as time expired in the first half.

In less than two minutes, Miller turned Whitefield’s slim lead into a 41-17 lead at halftime.

Whitefield’s offense was not as explosive in the second half — many of its reserves played in the half — but the Wolfpack went on to score 10 points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth quarter to finish the blowout.

Pearl connected with David Goemaere on a 45-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.

Mercy could have used running back Christian Willis, one of the team’s top playmakers. He was out with torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury he suffered in Mercy’s win over Mt. Pisgah the previous week, and will likely miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery over the weekend.

The Bobcats finished with only 39 rushing yards against the Wolfpack.

“Not having Christian hurt,” Pinabell said, “but when one guy goes down, you can’t hang your head over it.”

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