White is red-hot in big West Catholic rally

Posted: September 17, 2012

GREG WHITE'S father, also named Greg, experienced some success in the pound ball version of football, but drifted away from the sport before reaching high school.

He still regrets that decision and often expresses that thought to his son.

"He keeps telling me to follow his dreams," young Greg said.

Speaking of dreams . . .

By now you might be aware that West Catholic High topped Monsignor Bonner, 42-24, in a nonleague game Saturday at Upper Darby. The kicker is this: The Burrs did so thanks to one of the most amazing comebacks in city history, both in terms of the deficit and the outrageous swoooosh that erased it.

The intermission score was 24-0. West then stormed to 42 points in the first 13 minutes, 42 seconds of the second half.

"That was crazy," said the 5-9, 180-pound White, a junior tailback and strong safety. "I've been playing football for about 11 years. Never been involved in anything like that."

All White did on offense was contribute five touchdowns while finalizing his overall numbers at 23 rushes for 193 yards. His scores covered 10, 2, 3, 2 and 22 yards and only the fifth of the six TDs, a 37-yard pass from Antwain McCollum to Shaquille James, wasn't his.

At halftime, the scene offered contrasts.

"I'm not really an outspoken guy," White said. "I mostly keep to myself. But if you look at my face, you can tell whether I'm mad or happy. Yes, I had the mad look.

"Coach [Brian] Fluck was kind of calm, actually. He knew we'd come back and win. The defensive coaches, they weren't too happy. They were snappin' on us."

And White was part of the "us."

In the game's early moments, he'd been victimized for a long run - 64 yards by Kyle Dawson - that set up Bonner's first TD.

"I want to say the fault was mine on that one, but you could really say it was the linebackers," White said. "The guy ran straight up the middle and they failed to fill the hole. He did run past me, then I had to go down there and get him."

The second half opened as West's Ron Womack returned a squib kickoff 50 yards to Bonner's 10. White immediately scored.

"When Ron did that kickoff return, I knew we had it," White said. "That showed right away that we were coming back out there with more intensity. More pride. We knew we were supposed to beat that team. They weren't better than us. We had more speed and athleticism. And through that second half, we showed our heart."

White said the huddles featured occasional hints of emotion during the points avalanche, but nothing too pronounced.

"We couldn't get ahead of ourselves," he noted. "Even when we got to 42, there was still almost a quarter left."

West's line included center Steve Wyant, guards Josh Gibbs and Kameron Cotton, tackles Jaryd "Burger" Jones-Smith and Khalim Hadas and tight end Dominic Toney. Guard Eric Rutherford and tackle Tymir Oliver saw duty as well while the fullback, whose blocking is always crucial in West's I formation, was Javon Kegler.

Three of West's scoring drives were given life by turnovers - fumble recoveries by Toney and Rae'Quan Williams, pick by Brendon Slade - and another might as well have been because a run off a fake punt came up 1 yard short at the Friars' 37 (stop by Williams and Winston Trabi).

For Bonner, Jim Haley passed for 90 yards and ran for 74 more.

Until recently, White lived in Upper Darby and he misses the ol' neighborhood because it included many friends. He now can be found near 66th and Lansdowne, in Overbrook. Well, sometimes.

"I mostly stay inside," he said.

At football games . . .

"My father always comes and so do my mom, Vive, and stepdad, Lamar Williams," Greg said. "He played high school ball in New Jersey [Rancocas Valley] and he's been coaching me since I was 7 years old. My father gives me good help, too. As a kid, he played on the same team with one of West's assistant coaches."

Now, everyone has a story to tell for life.

Contact Ted Silary at silaryt@phillynews.com.

High school sports online at www.philly.com/rally

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