Creek cruises past Tensas in homecoming win

Gray Worthey scored on a 40-yard run during the second quarter of the Cougars homecoming win. (photo by Tim Smith)

by Malcolm Butler

Cedar Creek scored early and often in a 56-0 win over Tensas capping a week of Homecoming activities as the Cougars won for the third time in as many weeks.

Head coach Matt Middleton and Co. (3-2) scored all 56 points in the first two quarters as the final three quarters saw a running clock after the Cougars grabbed a 42-point lead in the first minute of the second quarter (LHSAA rule stipulates a running clock as soon as a team takes a 42-point lead).

“I am excited,” said Middleton. “It’s a win. I am happy for the kids. Everybody got a chance to play. I want them all to be safe tomorrow night (during homecoming dance festivities) and get back to work on Sunday.”

Caden Middleton found Lawson Lillo for a 13-yard TD pass with 8:29 to play in the opening quarter, capping a 4-play, 52-yard drive. Lane Thomas highlighted the drive with a 35-yard run on the first offensive play of the Cougars night — the only rushing attempt of the night by the Cougars leading rusher.

Middleton completed 9-of-11 passes for 140 yards and three scores on the night.

Following a fumble by Tensas, the Cougars took just two plays to cover 19 yards as Austin Webb scored on a two-yard dive with 7:51 to play in the quarter. Webb rushed for 39 yards on five carries.

Davis Long hit the second of his eight extra points on the night as the lead increased to 14-0.

Lillo struck again less than a minute later, this time on the defensive side, stepping in front of a pass and returning it 30 yards for another Creek score and a 21-0 advantage.

The offensive onslaught continued late in the first quarter. This time Ladd Thompson took a shovel pass from Caden Middleton and raced 22-yards for a score and a 28-0 advantage.

Following a Jed Stephens interception on Tensas’ next offensive possession, the Cougars marched 60 yards on three plays, highlighted by a 50-yard shovel pass to Connor Norris down to the opponents 10-yard line. Norris scored on the next play but a holding penalty on the Cougars negated the TD. However, Webb scored two plays later on a 2-yard plunge to push the lead to 35-0.

Norris led Creek with five receptions for 88 yards on the night, both career highs.

The second quarter started like the first quarter ended, with the Cougars scoring a TD. Following another turnover by Tensas inside its own 20-yard line, Caden Middleton hit Carter Hill for an 8-yard TD with 11:49 to play in the first half.

Cedar Creek’s defense dominated all night long, holding Tensas to only one first down in the first half while forcing five turnovers in the game. Tensas totaled negative 22 yards of total offense in the ball game while Creek managed 327 yards of offense.

Lillo led Creek with seven tackles while Blake Robinson added two sacks and Alex Simpson added one.

Following another three-and-out by Tensas, Cedar Creek took over on its own 47-yard line. It took just two plays to score as Gray Worthey took a hand-off up the middle, cut to the outside and raced 41-yards for a TD. Worthey led Creek with 98 yards rushing on only eight carries. Long’s extra point with 5:10 to play in the second quarter made it 49-0.

The Creek added one more score right before halftime. Following a third fumble recovery — this time on the Tensas 8-yard line –Parker Newman took a hand-off and scored with less than a minute to play in the second quarter. Newman rushed five times for 47 yards and the one score in the game. Long’s extra point made the score 56-0 at the half.

Middleton emptied the sideline in the second half, playing mostly junior varsity players as Creek was able to rest their starters while getting valuable snaps for some younger guys.

“I’ve seen it in JV games,” said Middleton referring to the younger players getting an opportunity to see significant snaps. “I’ve seen a lot of them. They all got to play and got some valuable experience tonight.”

Creek will host River Oaks Thursday at 7 p.m. at Cougar Stadium.

“We are ready to get going in district play,” said Middleton. “It was a nice win tonight.”

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