By the time Cedar Creek and Delhi sat through a pair of 30-minute weather delays Friday night and actually took to the field, the Cougars and the Bears may have well been playing in a mud pit.
In a game that saw the two teams combine to fumble 15 times – nine lost – and slosh their way through four quarters, the Cougars came away with a 38-6 win to improve their record to 1-1 on the young season.
Cedar Creek limited Delhi to 15 total yards of offense and forced seven turnovers in the victory. And despite losing tailback Jed Worthey to an ankle injury in the first quarter, Cedar Creek rushed for 168 yards and controlled the line of scrimmage for most of the night.
“When I tell you it was a storm, it was a storm,” said Creek head coach Matt Middleton. “The weather was really bad. Probably one of the worst I’ve ever played in. The field was in bad condition. We just couldn’t get into any type of rhythm. We kept fighting to get a new ball in, and they wouldn’t let us. We just couldn’t seem to catch a break.
“It really took us to the second half to get any type of resemblance of an offense mustered up. But defensively we played great again. There were three stoppages … two (weather) stoppages plus a halftime. Each time we had a stop it was 30 minutes. We just couldn’t get into a rhythm. It just poured the whole time and the field was torn up. It was a tough gig.”
After Cedar Creek was stopped inside the Delhi one-yard line on its opening drive, the Cougars defense made a play. On the first offensive play of the game for the Bears, a host of Cougars corralled the ball carrier in the endzone for a safety and a 2-0 Creek lead.
The score remained 2-0 until midway through the second quarter when Caden Middleton found Ladd Thompson for an 8-yard strike and an 8-0 lead.
Cedar Creek pulled away in the second half. Middleton found the endzone with 6:50 to play in the third quarter on a one-yard run and the two-point conversion was good as Middleton once again crossed the goal line.
Following the ensuing kickoff, the Creek defense struck again. Carson Riley scooped up a fumble and raced 35-yards for a TD and a 22-0 Creek lead.
Middleton said with the field conditions, the Cougars defense was even more aggressive in the second half.
“There is no doubt we picked it up,” said Matt Middleton. “We played well defensively all year, but we knew (with those conditions) it would be a defensive game. It was one of those where we got after them defensively. We had to. We didn’t know what the scoring opportunities may be. The field conditions were probably the second worst I’ve seen in my career.”
Lawson Lillo struck paydirt for Creek with 3:07 to play in the third quarter on a 25-yard TD run. AJ Thomas added the two-point conversion as the lead increased to 30-0.
Delhi answered on its next possession, scoring on a 45-yard run with 10:41 to play in the fourth quarter. The final score of the night came on an 11-yard hookup from Middleton to Lane Thomas with 3:04 to play as Bryce Rushing added the two-point conversion.
Middleton finished the night 11-of-18 for 69 yards and two scores through the air and a third on the ground. Worthey, who is week-to-week according to Matt Middleton, rushed three times for 39 yards in before exiting the game. Lane Thomas added 54 yards on 11 carries while Lillo added 25 yards and two carries and a score.
“I think we had tons of adversity, whether it was the weather or just bad things happen in a tough situation,” said Matt Middleton. “I think the kids proved even though we are young that we are a mature team. They sure battled through adversity. I don’t care how ugly it is, a win is a win and we are thankful to have it. I think we learned a lot about our team fighting through adversity and finding a way to be successful.”
Quincy Lewis recorded 10 tackles, including four tackles for loss, while Austin Webb added five stops and AJ Thomas three tackles, two for loss. Carter Hill registered a third quarter interception for the Cougars.
Cedar Creek will host Ouachita Christian Friday night at 7 p.m. at Cougar Stadium.
Photo: Darrell James (dgjames.photoshelter.com)
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