Special teams highlights Creek win

Despite running only 18 offensive plays in the game, Cedar Creek utilized its special teams in route to a 54-7 win over River Oaks at Cougar Stadium Friday night.

Head coach Matt Middleton saw his team build an early 14-0 lead, overcome a more than hour-long weather delay late in the first quarter, and then coast – or slosh – its way to the victory.

“It’s a win over a 2-win team,” said Middleton. “That gives us 12 power points. They won a shootout last week. I am proud of our team. We are getting better and better. We have talked about it before but we are three or four plays away from being undefeated.

“I really wanted to work on some things last night, but this was our second game where the weather was awful. It really limits you on play calling. And then with only running 18 offensive plays, there just wasn’t a lot of opportunity. It was a huge win for us, and it was another great defensive performance.”

The Creek offense made the most of its limited plays, rolling up 299 total yards of offense on only 18 snaps. The fireworks started early.

On the Cougars first offensive snap of the night, Jed Worthey took a handoff and went 74 yards for a TD and a 7-0 lead.

“He made a heck of a run,” said Middleton. “He was hemmed up, broke several tackles and just made a great play.”

After forcing a punt by River Oaks on its next possession, the Cougars struck quickly again. Caden Middleton hit Ladd Thompson on a 73-yard TD pass and a 14-0 lead.

“It was a double post concept, and the backside guy got behind the defense,” said Middleton.

With just 41 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, the skies opened up and lightning forced a pair of delays that lasted over an hour.

When the two teams returned to the field, not much changed in the direction of the game. Thompson struck again – this time on the special team’s unit – taking a punt 51 yards to the house and a 21-0 Creek advantage.

Caden Middleton found Bryce Rushing for a 10-yard TD connection in the second quarter, the second of Middleton’s three scoring passes of the night. Middleton finished 5-of-7 for 141 yards and the three scores.

“We made some plays in the passing game early before the storms came,” said Matt Middleton. “I kind of forced ourselves to throw it a few times in the hard rain. We were able to hit the long touchdown in the first quarter when it was just a drizzle. It was a down pour after that we were really limited on anything down field.”

The Creek special team’s unit wasn’t done with its scoring. The final TD of the second quarter came when Jayden Goudey blocked a River Oaks punt and Addison McConathy scooped and scored from 38 yards away. Creek led 34-0 at the half.

“When you win all three phases of the game, that’s a positive,” said Middleton.

After River Oaks scored to cut the lead to 34-7, the Cougars responded with a 15-yard hookup from Caden Middleton to Lane Thomas.

Thomas added a 13-yard rushing TD and Austin Webb scored from 16 yards out in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring by the Cougars. Thomas finished with three carries for 47 yards while Worthey paced the Cougars rushing attack with five carries for 108 yards.

One of the bright spots for Middleton was the performance of junior high placekicker Davis Long, who hit 6-of-6 extra points in his first varsity game.

“I am fired up,” said Middleton. “Our first few games we were unable to kick extra points. We brought up a young man from our junior high and he went six for seven last night. He will continue to get better. He is very consistent from the extra point range, and that is huge for our team.”

Carson Riley led the Creek defense with 17 tackles while Lawson Lillo added 11 tackles and Bryce Rushing had 10.

Cedar Creek travels to Sicily Island Thursday.

Photo: Tim Smith (geauxdesignart.com)

 


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