Challenge looms large as Creek travels to OCS

Cedar Creek will travel to OCS tonight for a 7 p.m. kickoff. (photo by Tim Smith)

by Malcolm Butler

Cedar Creek has won five straight games.

But the Cougars (5-2, 1-0) face their biggest challenge of the season tonight when they travel to Monroe to face No. 1 ranked OCS (6-1) at 7 p.m.

To say its a challenge may be an understatement according to head coach Matt Middleton.

What will it take for the Cougars to pull the upset on the road?

“Play perfect,” said Middleton. “Mistake free. Them make some mistakes and put the ball on the ground. And the good Lord show us some favor. And I do believe that. Sometimes that happens. I’ve seen it.”

During the history of the rivalry on the gridiron, Cedar Creek has only came out on top twice — in 2007 and again in 2017.

“I told the kids this week that it’s hard to be a rival when you hardly ever beat them,” said Middleton.

Last year Cedar Creek came close. The Cougars led late in the game when OCS threw a 97-yard TD pass with under two minutes remaining to escape with a win. The two teams met again in the first round of the playoffs and OCS pulled away in the second half for a 35-7 victory.

So how does this year’s OCS team compare to last year?

“Without a doubt they are better,” said Middleton. “Last year on defense they were really young except up front. They are now all a year older. Offensively they are pretty good. They can get out and push the ball down the field. Defensively, they are really, really good up front.

“They will be a lot of counter run. But then they are going to try to throw it over the top of you. Spread you out. It’s pretty multiple. They want to throw it, but they can run it well too.”

OCS has been an annual title contender for the past few decades. In the last 10 years, the Eagles have made it to the state finals or semifinals nine out of 10 years. The lone year they didn’t they advanced to the quarterfinals.

“They do it right,” said Middleton. “The coach has been there for 25 years. They have a hold back program that is legit. They are all drastically older. They have it figured out.”

Cedar Creek has been dominate during its five-game winning streak, outscoring its opponents 244-32 with four of the five games being all but decided by halftime.

Ouachita Christian’s one loss came to 5A foe Ouachita 48-28 three weeks ago. They were dominate in a 49-7 win over a very good St. Frederick team two weeks ago in a game that St. Fred’s only crossed midfield twice in the entirety of the contest.