The senior did it all, collecting eight tackles, throwing a 4-yard touchdown and rushing for 135 yards and a score as the Wolfpack remained unbeaten in Region 6A (B) play with a 28-6 win over Mount Pisgah Christian (4-3, 1-2).
“Richard Sherrell is an offensive player, a defensive player, an electrician and a plumber all in one,” Whitefield coach Jimmy Fields said. “I reckon if you needed your grass cut, he could do that too.
“He can do it all. He just stepped up and had a big game on both sides of the football for us.”
Whitefield’s feature tailback was needed on defense after a neck injury ended senior linebacker Ben Brannen’s season and senior linebacker James Schultz was forced to miss time with an ankle injury.
The Patriots took advantage on the opening drive, marching down the field on 13 consecutive run plays before stalling at the Whitefield 7-yard line. However instead of settling for a field goal, they ran a fake, and Austin Harper scored for an early 6-0 lead.
“We knew they were a first drive team because we’ve watched film and every game, they’ve marched down the field and scored,” Sherrell said. “We knew they were going to come out hot and we just had to slow it down after that.”
They slowed it down by using a ground game of their own with Sherrell capping off a 12-play drive with a 1-yard plunge.
“Of course, we were trying to stop (their early success), but our kids showed resilience,” said Fields. “They faced adversity falling behind, but they came back, handled it and stayed focused.”
Hunter Holliday focused on Patriots’ quarterback Aaron Winchester for a sack that eventually forced a punt that only went 2 yards.
“We started trying to throw the football,” said Mount Pisgah coach Doug Dixon. “We felt we needed to throw the football to get them off the line, but they did a good job of attacking us and they covered well.”
Whitefield (5-2, 3-0) took advantage of the good field position, using a backdoor screen pass to Max Kemether to get in the red zone.
A pitch to Sherrell turned into a less than perfect looking halfback pass and a 4-yard touchdown to Carter Fiveash for a 14-6 halftime lead and grief from his teammates on the sidelines.
“They were already giving it to me,” Sherrell said about his touchdown pass. “They said you threw a duck, but I said, ‘Hey, it was a touchdown and that’s all that mattered.’”
Whitefield started the second half with another 12-play drive that resulted in a touchdown, taking more than 6 minutes off the clock and essentially setting up a clash for the top spot in the Region next week against Walker.
“It’s a rivalry from the past,” Sherrell said. “It’s going to be a big game.”
“I think every Friday night is a rivalry and every game is important,” Fields said. “Walker is having an outstanding year and we face a tremendous challenge.
“It will be our greatest challenge by far.”