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Too much Dodson

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Sports Editor

Germantown running back Justin Roberson loses the ball Friday night against undefeated Whitehaven. The senior finished the game with 50 rushing yards and one touchdown.

The Germantown Red Devils ran into a team on a mission Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Class 6-A Playoffs.
The Whitehaven Tigers took home field with one thing on their mind, get back to Cookeville for a chance at redemption in the State Championship game.
Germantown presented the next obstacle in the way of the unbeaten Tigers.
With a 52-7 victory over the Red Devils, the Whitehaven Tigers stand two wins away from the state championship.
“The focus is real serious,” Whitehaven standout running back Mark Dodson said. “We’re playing with a chip on our shoulders. We made it all the way and then fell short. We have unfinished business in Cookeville. We’re sending a message up toward the East because they say West Tennessee players can’t compete with them.”
Dodson helped the Tigers jump out to an early lead over Charlie White’s Red Devils with two touchdown runs. The Ole Miss-bound back said Whitehaven’s game plan against the wishbone attack of Germantown was to use the offense to force the Red Devils to pass.
“We just tried to come out and hit them in the mouth early to take them out of their game plan,” Dodson said. “And we also wanted to help our defense because Germantown is not a passing team. They are a running team. So, when we hit them early they had to pass the ball.”
The 13-0 Tigers started to put their game plan into action handing the ball off to Dodson. The senior broke loose for touchdowns from 23 and 39 yards, respectively, to give Whitehaven an early lead.
The Red Devils tried to overcome the first quarter deficit by dropping back to pass. However, that gave the Tiger defense an opportunity to apply pressure on Germantown’s backfield, forcing fumbles, sacks and incomplete passes.
The Tigers were up 19-0 before the end of the first quarter, when quarterback Patrick Smith faked a hand off to Dodson and sprinted 54 yards toward the end zone.
Whitehaven kept the pressure on Germantown in the second quarter when Smith dropped back and hit wide out Gerald Perry for a 15-yard touchdown.
Tiger Darrius Sims then made the score 32-0 when be caught a punt in traffic near the Whitehaven sideline. The senior speedster cut back toward the middle of the field and made one defender miss with a juke move for a 62-yard score.
Whitehaven went ahead 39-0 when Smith scored on a short run.
The Red Devils kept fighting and on fourth down with 15 yards to go quarterback Sam Martin dropped back and hit wide out Justin Hunter to the 2 yard line. From there, Germantown put the ball into the hands of Justin Roberson for a touchdown to make the score 39-7 before halftime.
Whitehaven iced the game in the second half with two more Dodson scores. The running back scored on a 21-yard run and a 40-yard over-the-shoulder catch.
The Tigers will advance to the state semifinals for a rematch with Mt. Juliet.
“Next week is a whole new week, Week 0 all over again,” Dodson said. “Mt. Juliet won and they have to come to our house. And we ain’t losing in our backyard.”
For the Red Devils, 2012 ended with a 9-4 mark and playoff wins over Bolton and Millington. White said his Germantown team overcame a slow start to the season with the hard work and leadership of his assistants and seniors.
“They done that all year, kept fighting,” White said of his seniors. “We began the season 1-2. For us to be in the quarterfinals, I’m just really proud of the kids.
“They fought all year long, he continued. “I knew they would keep fighting. Things just didn’t go our way all night long.”
White said his team just ran into a team with great players on offense and defense in the Tigers.
“We knew we were going to play a good football team out here,” he said of Whitehaven. “I’ll take all the blame. We’ve been in big games before. That shouldn’t be a problem. Just didn’t play well. I’m the one that is responsible for that. Whitehaven is an awfully good football team. You have to give them credit. Their coaches did a great job and their players played hard. They have some great football players.”
White said his Red Devils proved with nine victories this year and an appearance in the quarterfinals that they were pretty good too.
“I’m proud of the kids,” he concluded. “Our goal every year is to win the State championship. We’ve done it before and we know what it’s like. But we’re proud of the kids and what they accomplished.”

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