By Malcolm Butler
Cedar Creek plays its third straight home game in three weeks Friday night when the Cougars host Tensas.
Kickoff at Cougar Stadium is set for 7 p.m. with Homecoming Court presentations slated for 6 p.m.
Creek Head Coach Matt Middleton knows that his players have a lot of distraction this week due to all the homecoming festivities, but he also knows what’s most important to his team come kickoff.
“I tell the players all the time, homecoming week is not for them,” said Middleton. “It’s for all the others that are involved, but we still have a game to play. We still have to come out and play well. We still have to get better. That’s the biggest thing for us. Just continue to take steps forward.”
Creek (2-2) has won two straight games after dropping a couple of heartbreakers to start the season. The Cougars own a 35-20 win over Class 2A Winnfield and a 52-6 stomping against Delhi last Friday night.
Despite starting the year off with those two losses, Creek finds itself ranked No. 10 in the latest Select Division IV power ratings.
“It’s pretty wild to see us there at a 2-2 record but if you look at our strength (of schedule) factor we have the third toughest,” said Middleton. “The third toughest in the entire state in Division IV. The good thing is we were in both games we lost and those (two teams) are still winning. That helps us. Our schedule is tough, but we have to control what we can control. It’s cliche but it’s the truth.”
Tensas enters Friday night with a 1-3 record, including a 52-0 loss to Ouachtia Christian last Friday night. Tensas has a 28-14 win over Ringgold and losses to LaSalle (34-0) and Beekman Charter (47-0).
Despite their struggles, Middleton letting his guard down.
“They played Ouachita Christian last week and kind of ran into a buzzsaw,” said Middleton. “There is a numbers advantage that goes to us. But that’s why you play the game. We still have to go do it. They still have some good players on their team. We have to go out and do the best that we can and try to get off to a good start.
“They are going to spread it around a little bit on offense. They are going to try to throw it and run some wide zone stuff. Defensively, they are going to be a lot of 4-2 Cover 1. Some of those different things. We have seen a ton of man the first four weeks. I’m beginning to think it’s because people think they can do that to us. We have made them a pay a little bit here lately.”
Today and Friday will be full of assemblies, pep rallies and extra curricular activities surrounding homecoming at Cedar Creek. But the Cougars still have a job to do.
“(Homecoming) is big deal around here,” said Middleton. “But my goal is to be 1-0 at the end of the week.”
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