HOWE — The Howe Bulldogs kept it basic Friday night, pounding the interior of a under-sized Whitewright defense in a 31-0 non-district win at Bulldog Stadium.
Howe (2-1) utilized the speed of Anthony Hawthorne to grind out the gains. The Bulldogs drove 73 yards on their first possession, all on the ground, to light up the scoreboard on a one-yard run by quarterback Joaquin Lopez.
Hawthorne finished with 173 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Whitewright (0-3) picked up a pair of first downs on its ensuing possession, but were forced to kick after back-to-back sacks.
Back to the ground game, Howe put together an 80-yard march for its second score of the contest.
A Hawthorne run for 29 yards helped kick off the drive, which was capped when Bulldog guard Brady Smith scooped up a Howe fumble and ran it in from 25 yards out with just seconds left in the quarter for a 12-0 lead.
The Tigers gave up a short-field touchdown to Howe early in the second quarter as Bryce Mosier got the first of three Bulldog interceptions, picking off a Whitewright pass at the Tiger 39-yard line.
“We made some changes to our defensive lineup,” Howe head coach Zack Hudson said.
An 18-yard run by Lopez and a 21-yard sweep around the left side by Hawthorne bumped the Howe lead to 19-0.
Howe got its second interception midway through the quarter, but couldn’t capitalize as the Tigers held. The Bulldogs took advantage of another possession deep in Tiger territory for their next score.
Three Whitewright penalties aided the Howe march and it was capped by the Bulldogs’ only pass completion as Quinton Harris connected with Caleb Ake for a 10-yard scoring toss.
It took just five plays for the Bulldogs to score on the first possession of the second half.
A 12-yard run by Zach Lea early in the drive was followed by two runs by Lopez that moved the ball to the Whitewright 47-yard line. Hawthorne broke free on the left side and raced in for his second touchdown of the night.
In addition to the four turnovers, the Tigers totaled just 151 yards, including 35 carries for only 57 yards. Blake Henderson had three catches for 39 yards and Seth Hames had 34 yards on three grabs for the Tigers.
“We just decided to get in there and play,” Whitewright coach Wes Rhoten said. “ We have a bunch of young kids and it’s been tough, but we’re going to get it turned around.”