ORLANDO — Wharton could not capitalize on turnovers and hurt itself with multiple penalties Friday against Dr. Phillips, leading to a 37-10 loss in the region quarterfinals.
The loss was Wharton’s third straight to Dr. Phillips in the quarterfinals.
“We got in the red zone one time (in the first half) and came out with three points and we put the ball on the ground (for a fumble),” Wharton coach David Mitchell said. “They’re a big-play team. That’s how they score, that’s how they win. We didn’t stop the big plays.”
Running back Kerry Bernard scorched the Wildcats (7-4) for 151 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Randolph Norwood threw for 173 yards and two touchdowns.
Wharton aided Dr. Phillips with 16 penalties for 130 yards.
“That’s something we have to work on,” Mitchell said. “Defense had a lot of offside. That’s undisciplined, and that’s on our behalf.”
Wharton’s Miguel Hernandez intercepted a Norwood pass with 48 seconds left in the second quarter and after a short return, gave Wharton the ball at the Dr. Phillips 14. The Wildcats settled for a 27-yard field goal by Tristen Spearringer and did not score again until the fourth quarter, on a 10-yard run by Jeff Keil.
“Our defense stepped up big in the first half, but offensively we just didn’t put points up on the board,” said Wharton quarterback Chase Litton, who finished with 183 yards and two interceptions in his final game. “We had multiple turnovers in the first half, and that’s our defense stepping up big, but I take this one on me.”
Keil had 77 yards on the ground, while Austin Tolley had 84 receiving yards.
Wharton 0 3 0 7 — 10
Dr. Phillips 0 14 10 13 — 37
D–Bryant 20 run (Buckner kick).
D–Proctor 25 pass from Norwood (Shafer kick).
W–Spearringer 27 FG
D–Gaines 2 run (Buckner kick)
D–Buckner 32 FG
W–Keil 10 run (Spearringer kick).
D–Gaines 54 pass from Norwood (kick failed).
D–Bryant 12 run (Buckner kick)