Cougars travel to Oak Grove for Friday showdown

The road doesn’t get any easier for Cedar Creek Friday night as the Cougars travel to face Oak Grove. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Tigers (4-3) started the season with three straight losses against the likes of OCS, Sterlington and Mangham, but have rebounded to win four straight games. The Cougars (3-3) are coming off their third heartbreaking loss of the season, a 28-26 setback against Jonesboro-Hodge.

Creek head coach Matt Middleton knows his team is in for another dog fight against the Tigers.

“They are really good,” said Middleton. “Josh Bradley’s boy is the quarterback. So there is an old Tech connection. He is a freshman. He is 6-3, 200-plus … going to be a load like his dad was. He has really come along as the year has progressed. At Oak Grove tradition never graduates man. They just reload. They are ranked No. 1 in the power ratings on the public school side.

“They dropped three early in the year but they played OCS and Sterlington. OCS is undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class A and Sterlington is … And they lost to Mangham. They have caught their stride and averaged (over 47 points) a game over the last four games. They are smash mouth and get after it and run the option at you.”

Oak Grove has scored no fewer than 42 points in any of its four wins and is coming off a 56-0 victory over River Oaks last Friday night. While the Tigers offense has been clicking, the Oak Grove defense has allowed a total of 22 points in the four-game stretch.

“They used to be based out of a 4-2-5,” said Middleton. “They are more of a 3-down hybrid mix look. They do get into some four-down stuff. They are going to play cover two on the back end and mix in some man. They are going to play a nose and two four-eyes and two stand ups and get after it. They are really physical and are going to be really sound at what they do.”

With only three games remaining in the season, eyes began to focus on the playoffs. Despite proving they are one of the better teams in their classification, Cedar Creek must pick up some wins down the stretch if they want to see the postseason.

“Our backs are against the wall,” said Middleton. “We feel pretty strongly that if we win the next three we are in. If we win two of the next three then we are at the mercy of other people. It’s one of those deals where we need to go play really, really well.

“I’ve got resilient kids. That’s the biggest thing for me. We are literally a first down and three points away from being 6-0, but we are sitting at 3-3 and fighting for our lives. They are still competing and still fighting and still scraping. They are competitors, and they are looking forward to the challenge.”

The contest can be heard on 101.9 FM with Kevin Bayles and David Cole providing the call of the action. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Photo: Darrell James (dgjames@photoshelter.com)


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