Homer ousts White Castle, 18-13 in Class 1A quarterfinals

Staff Report

It was so close, yet so far for White Castle in its hopes of a spot in the Class 1A semifinals.

White Castle quarterback Tahj Favorite fires a pass in the last 22 seconds of Class 1A quarterfinal action against Homer.

In the end, however, time ran out on the Bulldogs and their quest for a return to the Class 1A state title game when Homer outlasted WCHS 18-13 in action Dec. 11 at Milton “Rocky” Ourso Stadium.

The No. 4-seeded Bulldogs ended their season 5-4 under first-year head coach Marc Brown.

Quarterback Tahj Favorite’s 32-yard touchdown pass to Keith Landry in the fourth quarter put the Bulldogs in position to pull a late come-from-behind win over Homer. WCHS regained possession in the last three minutes of the game and worked their way inside the Pelican 25-yard line during the last minute of the game.

Favorite aimed for receivers near the end zone but came up short just as the clock ran out.

Penalties were a constant throughout the game for Bulldogs, who were flagged 21 times for 185 yard, including five 15-yard miscues.

“Homer was a very good team, but we gave away some opportunities tonight on penalties, ball handling and not tackling, and offensively we left some plays out there,” Brown said. “But even through all that, we played hard.”

Defense put White Castle on the scoreboard in the first quarter on a Favorite 35-yard interception return. Homer tied the score later in the stanza on Tekelvionta Kidd’s six-yard run and took the lead in the second off a Jaylon Calome three-yard carry.

A fumble recovery in the end zone put Homer ahead 18-6 at halftime.

The effort in the second half gave Brown hope for how the Bulldogs could handle adversity next season.

“It’s getting to make a young team every single thing is important, especially in a playoff atmosphere,” he said. “Bringing in a new system in July along with a new offense throughout all of the day-to-day changes, but we didn’t make excuses.

“To be at this point, I’m pleased,” Brown said. “It’s not the result we wanted, but this is a good starting point for us. They understand the hurt, but when we get back to school in January, it will be all about getting back to work.”