Whitefield Academy knew it would have its hands full heading to Prince Avenue Christian.
In order to succeed against the returning Class A private-school state quarterfinalist, the Wolfpack needed to limit mistakes and be efficient on both offense and defense.
Whitefield ended up doing things it couldn’t afford to do and settled for a 43-21 loss to Prince Avenue, which is led by former Campbell and Kell coach Greg Vandagriff. There were missed assignments, a turnover on the opening kickoff and the Wolfpack did not line up well at times.
The coach’s son, Oklahoma commit Brock Vanagriff, has been touted as one of the state’s top quarterbacks and burned the Wolfpack on a pair of lengthy touchdown passes in the third quarter. Those two scores put the game out of reach for Whitefield after it trailed 20-7 at the half.
Prince Avenue also got a safety when a bad snap by Whitefield went over the punter’s head and through the end zone.
“Prince Avenue served as a springboard,” Whitefield coach Coleman Joiner said. “When you lose a tough one like that, it serves as a bit of accountability. If you want to be as good as you want to be, we got to make sure we elevate our level of practice and execute at a high level.
“We know we have a bunch of guys who want to be considered one of the best in the state.”
Whitefield came in with a game plan to contain Vandagriff, but his dual-threat ability turned out to be an issue for the Wolfpack. He also spread the field, which forced Whitefield to get out of alignment at times. Joiner said Whitefield also was not quite used to Prince Avenue’s quick tempo.
The Wolfpack played their younger players and managed to score twice in the fourth quarter once the game was out of reach.
“We have a long season ahead of us,” Joiner said. “We’re going to take the next few days and get better ourselves. We saw things that we can fix, and we will take advantage of those times when we need to.”