OKLAHOMA CITY — Landon White is making up for lost time.
In only his third game of the season, White carried the ball 27 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns to lead Piedmont past Western Heights, 28-7, Friday night.
The win was Piedmont’s second in a row, which improved the Wildcats to 2-6 overall and 2-3 in district play.
White missed the first four games of the season while the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association reviewed his eligibility after an offseason transfer to and from Wynnewood. Eligible now, White has been a force for Piedmont in the three games since he became eligible.
“He did a lot things well tonight,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said of White, who’s totaled five touchdowns in two weeks. “He had some vision, found the right spots and did all those things. It was exciting to see him run hard and run well.”
With the game even at 7 at half, White and Piedmont’s ground game took over. The Wildcats drove 68 yards for a score capped by White’s three-yard plunge that set the tone for the second half.
“I think that boosted our confidence and really made them lay down a little bit,” White said. “We wanted it bad and we came out and showed it.”
The onslaught continued later, when White broke free down Piedmont’s sideline for a 25-yard touchdown run with 10:50 to play.
“I’m running behind the best blockers you could have,” White, who also scored Piedmont’s first touchdown of the game, said. “This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for them.”
The complexion of the game changed midway through the second quarter when Western Heights star quarterback Kevin Rassatt injured his right knee. Rassatt left the game for one play then came back obviously hobbled to complete a 43-yard pass, but crumpled to the ground in pain afterwards and never returned.
“Injuries are the worst part of this game,” Gossen said. “I hate that for them and I hope he’s better and gets to come back and play because he’s a heckuva player.”
Rassatt accounted for 129 total yards in less than two quarters of play Friday night. The Jets managed just 196 yards for the game.
The Wildcat defense feasted on the limited offensive arsenal that remained for the Jets after Rassatt’s exit. Kanton Logan intercepted a pass to extend Piedmont’s games with a turnover forced streak to five.
“He was their playmaker and when he went out it definitely changed their gameplan a little bit,” Gossen said. “But our defense really played well.”
Piedmont put the game away on a 51-yard touchdown pass from Noah Ellis to Hunter Chism with 7:51 to play.
Ellis finished the game six-of-18 passing for 155 yards and one touchdown. Piedmont also ran for a season high 175 yards en route to scoring a key win that kept alive the Wildcats’ hopes for securing the fourth and final playoff spot in District 5A-II.
“I think our offense is really clicking now,” White said. “We had to come in here and win this and we got the job done. It feels great.”