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Cody White shines for Walled Lake Western, leads winning drive in 2nd game as QB

By Jared Purcel, 09/02/16, 10:15PM EDT


WLW Overall Record 2 - 0

CANTON -- Cody White admits that he was like most every kid that owned a football growing up. He would go outside and play make-believe, drawing game-winning scenarios for him perform. As he has grown into one of the state's top wide receivers, his dreams involved him making a game-winning catch in the end zone.

On Thursday night, White got to live his game-winning dreams and have the game-winning play on the football field -- but not as a wide receiver. Instead, it was as a quarterback.

Playing in just his second game at quarterback for Walled Lake Western, White led the Warriors on a nine-play, 68-yard drive for a 33-30 come-from-behind victory over Canton. White capped the drive with just 37 seconds left in the game, throwing a 29-yard pass to the back-left corner of the end zone that fell perfectly into the hands of wide receiver Justin Thomas.

Walled Lake Westen football beats Canton, 33-30, with late touchdown pass from Cody White to Justin Thomas on Sept. 1, 2016. (Jared Purcell |


"When (the pass) went in the air, it felt like it was in the air forever," White said. "When he came down with it, it was just so much joy and so much excitement. We came out with the win and it was just a great feeling."

Canton (0-2) managed to get to the Western (2-0) 30 yard line before the game ended but could not convert a 47-yard field goal as time expired.

White was moved to starting quarterback in Week 1 because expected starter Johnny Tracy was out with an injury. However, White did just fine last week with 171 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, adding another touchdown on the ground.

Against Canton, White was just as electric, finishing with 190 yards on 9-for-21 passing with 2 touchdowns. He also added 101 yards rushing for two more scores.

At this point, does White even miss playing wide receiver?

"I do," White admitted. "I'd rather be playing wide receiver but I do what I have to do to win for the team."

Although he had an interception in the second quarter and his completion percentage was low -- much lower than his 10-for-13 performance in Week 1 -- Western has been just as dominant as many expected despite White's move to quarterback.

"He just plays with a lot of confidence, you know what I mean?" Western coach Mike Zdebski said. "Nothing get to him. Nothing rattles him. We had guys open but he's got a Joe Montana arm throwing the ball 80 yards down the field of whatever and he just overthrew a lot of guys that were open but it doesn't rattle him. He threw that one interception but he's like, 'I got it next time.' He maintains that sense of confidence, calmness and composure so the kids follow and nobody panicked."

Aside from his game-winning pass, White also had a 60-yard touchdown run less than 20 seconds into the fourth quarter, tying the game at 27-27. White zigged and zagged and zig-zagged as much as his legs would let him, making one final cut to the left 20 yards from the end zone and beating the defense to the corner.

"I was zigging and zagging throughout the field," White said. "I was just looking for green grass and I finally got to the end zone. It was just a great game."


Thomas finished with 2 touchdowns on 2 receptions for 88 yards for Western.

Canton running back Markus Sanders did not play a snap in the second half because of an apparent injury. Still Canton racked up 341 rushing yards as a team, with sophomore Steven Walker gaining 134 of them with a score. Canton running back Colin Troup added a 61-yard touchdown run as well.

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Tag(s): News  Walled Lake Western  WLW JV  WLW Freshmen