Second half miscues came back to haunt Jacksonville on Friday night at the Historic Tomato Bowl where Whitehouse came away with a 25-13 decision over the Tribe.
The loss pummeled the Indians to 1-4, 0-2 in District 9-5A-II, while the Wildcats stayed tied for the district lead by improving to 3-2, 2-0.
The Whitehouse defense kept steady pressure on Jacksonville quarterback Patrick Clater, particularly in the second half when Clater gave up three interceptions.
Despite those woes, the Tribe, who trailed 18-6 at halftime, were able to get back to within striking distance with 10:25 to go in the third stanza when Jesus Oliveros picked up a Whitehouse fumble and zoomed into the end zone from 42 yards out.
The defensive touchdown enabled the Tribe to cut the Whitehouse advantage to 18-13, following a successful point after touchdown kick by Alejandro Pina-Sanchez.
Peyton Kennedy's second three yard rushing touchdown in the game came with 4:01 to play in the third quarter and turned out to be the insurance score that the Wildcats needed. His scoring run capped off a seven play, 55-yard march that allowed Whitehouse to expand its lead to 25-13.
Neither team was able to score in the final frame.
Kennedy turned in his best performance of the season, carrying 34 times for 203 yards to lead all rushers.
Kennedy's first score of the night gave Whitehouse an 8-0 lead — after Kaden Casey's 2-point conversion run — in the first quarter in a game that the Wildcats lead from start to finish.
Caden also scored on a 34-yard run late in the first half.
Jacksonville's first points of the night came with 7:29 to go in the opening stanza when Aaron Richardson trucked in from a yard out. The PAT was unsuccessful after Clater, the Tribe holder, was unable to find the handle on the ball.
Richardson's touchdown capped off a 12-play, 85-yard drive for the Indians.
Richardson finished with 12 totes for 49 yards and was Jacksonville's leading ground gainer.
Clater had somewhat of an off night, going 10-25-3 for 139 yards through the air.
He did connect with Colorado-commit Chris Carpenter for a 45-yard pick up early in the fourth quarter.
Jacksonville got down as far as the Wildcat 18-yard line before Clater's final interception of the game snuffed out the progression.
Jacksonville will travel to Pine Tree (3-2, 2-0) on Friday. The Pirates steamrolled Mount Pleasant 56-25 on Friday.
Whitehouse will entertain Nacogdoches, who is also 2-0 in conference play.