The Wolfpack allowed Gordon Lee to cross midfield only twice throughout the game. They also forced four turnovers — three in the second half, as they got stronger as the game went along.
“Hats off to these defensive guys,” said Whitefield coach Jimmy Fields.
Whitefield led only 3-0 at the half thanks to Matthew Olsen’s 35-yard field goal on the game’s 15-play, 45-yard opening drive. The drive stalled on the Gordon Lee 13 because of four penalties. One of them, an illegal procedure penalty, negated a 12-yard touchdown pass to Lawrence Walters.
“Way too many penalties,” said Fields. “If we don’t correct the penalties, there won’t be a lot of celebration next week.”
Walters would find another way to get to the end zone in the second half, as he intercepted a pass and took it 25 yards for a touchdown. Sky Dupree ran in the 2-point conversion to give Whitefield an 11-0 lead.
“What really got us over the hump (was) Lawrence Walters big interception right there in the third quarter,” Fields said. “ (We) got a score and that kind of propelled us. (We) finally got on the board on offense.”
The Wolfpack recovered a fumble at the Trojan 26-yard line on Gordon Lee’s first play of the ensuing possesion. An 11-yard catch by Walters put Whitefield on the 3 yard line. And when quarterback Everett Pollard ran in for a touchdown, it gave the Wolfpack an 18-0 lead that they would not relinquish.
Pollard finished the game with a team high 52 rushing yards and Braelen Phillips added 46 yards as Whitefield rushed for 141 yards on the evening.
“They see at times that they can move the football and move it well,” Fields said about his offense. “The thing they also see if they don’t play together, if they have these penalties then they’re not going to do very well.”