MIDLAND — Midland Christian, like Sweetwater, plays 11-man football. However, running back Christian Whigham was a one-man wrecking crew for the host team Friday in a 48-21 win over Sweetwater.
Whigham finished with 214 yards on 19 carries and scored a school-record seven touchdowns, five of them in the first half, to help Midland Christian take a 48-0 lead before Sweet-water (3-3) came up with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the final score a bit closer.
Whigham carried the ball just three times in the sec-ond half, but scored twice including a 2-yard TD to set the record with 4:24 left in the third quarter before taking the rest of the night off.
“He’s the fastest kid we’ll see all year,” said Sweetwa-ter coach Craig Slaughter. “Our goal was to not let him get a crease, and he got several on us.”
Sweetwater managed just two first downs in the first half, which ended with Midland Christian (3-2) up 34-0. The biggest play of the half, both in terms of yardage and its effect on the outcome, was a 75-yard TD run by Whigham that made it 14-0 with 2:05 left in the first quarter. It came after Sweetwater’s defense had held on downs at its 36-yard line, and the offense had gotten its initial first down near midfield before stalling three plays later.
Midland Christian was up 48-0 before Sweetwater used an 11-play, 95-yard drive — capped by quarterback Taylor Jones’ 1-yard plunge — to finally get on the board, and then punched over two more scores.
Ryan Linebaugh had a 3-yard run for the second TD, which was Linebaugh’s seventh of the year. It came after Mateo Gonzales reco-vered a fumble at Midland Christian’s 28. Sweetwater then got its third and final TD on another Jones 1-yard run with just 41 seconds left in the contest.
Sweetwater’s offense did little until late in the third quarter when Jones found a hole and raced 70 yards — easily the longest play of the night for Sweetwater — to set up the first TD. Jones scored with 10:42 left in the fourth period, followed by Tadeo Canon-Masjoan’s extra point. Canon-Masjoan had attempted and made a 28-yard field goal after Sweetwater faced fourth-and-6 from the 11, but the Mustangs got new life when Midland Christian was pen-alized for running into the kicker. That moved it to the 5. A pass interference call then led to Jones’ first TD.
Sweetwater finished with 224 yards, most of it in the fourth quarter, to Midland Christian’s 388. The Mus-tangs now go to Wylie (3-3) for Friday’s 5-3A opener.