By Malcolm Butler
Ladd Thompson connected on a 70-yard scoring strike to Kade Luker and Noah Durrett scored on a 17-yard run to highlight Cedar Creek’s Friday night scrimmage at Lakeside.
The night saw each team get nine offensive possessions during the scripted, controlled portion of the scrimmage and then line up and play one 12-minute quarter.
Creek’s defense was stellar the entire evening, not allowing a single score while forcing eight 3-and-outs during Lakeside’s 12 offensive possessions on the night.
Parkerson, who had said earlier in the week he wanted to see his team “line up correctly and play fundamental football,” was pleased with aspects of the night.
“We lined up good,” said Parkerson. “We have to clean up some fundamentals. I told them we have to clean up some mental mistakes and penalties. We probably could have scored four or five more touchdowns, but penalties just killed drives.
“I thought we played hard. I thought we were physical. We executed pretty good at times, but it was the first time with live bullets. There will be a lot of good stuff to learn from.”
The night didn’t start very well for the Cougars. Three of the first five snaps from scrimmage resulted in fumbles while starting center Brett Johnson went down with a left ankle injury on just the second play of the night.
Creek entered the evening with just 27 healthy players and has already lost offensive lineman Joseph Luffey for potentially the season with a knee injury during the first week of practice. Parkerson was unsure of Johnson’s long-term status.
“We don’t know (his status yet),” said Parkerson. “We hope for the best. They say they don’t know, but we will hope for the best. We will get him checked out in the morning and hopefully we will get some good news.”
Offensively, Creek showed some signs of life throughout the night. Thompson hit Lukar on a 70-yard TD on just the second offensive possession of the night. The two just missed on two more long pass plays later in the scrimmage.
However, it was the Cougars rushing attack that began to pick up steam as the evening wore on. Worthey and Lillo both ripped off multiple 20-plus yard runs while Durrett hit paydirt on the ground for Creek.
“The first series we really struggled to get the dive going,” said Parkerson. “But after that we got the dive going which opens up everything in this offense. Gray Worthey and Noah Durrett did a good job running in between the tackles and (Lawson) Lillo had some good runs to the outside.”
Thompson wasn’t 100 percent full go at QB for Creek. Parkerson said his signal caller was put on a bit of a leash in order to not aggravate a muscle tweak sustained in practice last week.
“There were a couple of times if Ladd is healthy that he pulls it and he scores,” said Parkerson. “But hey, we will get him healthy for the regular season.”
A number of young Cougars made some nice plays. Freshman Ryan Coleman caught a 41-yard pass from Lukar when the Creek second team offense was under center. Coleman also made a nice play defensively, intercepting a Lakeside pass on the first offensive possession of the night by the home team.
“He had the pick,” said Parkerson of Coleman. “It was a nice pick for his first play on defense on the varsity. Kade Lukar had the touchdown (reception). He is another ninth grader. We had a bunch of young guys step up with is good to see.”
Sophomore lineman Bryce Martin was also a bright spot for the Cougars, making numerous tackles behind the line of scrimmage during the night.
“(Bryce) flashed a good bit and did a nice job on the offensive line as well,” said Parkerson.
During the latter part of the scrimmage — a 12-minute live quarter — the Cougars had a number of opportunities to score, driving inside Lakeside’s 20-yard line on two separate occasions. However, on the final play of the night, Thompson threw an interception that was returned 102 yards for the only score of the night by Lakeside.
The Creek defense didn’t allow a single first down to Lakeside in the quarter in three possessions as James Myers recorded an interception for the Cougars.
Cedar Creek will face Mangham on Saturday, August 26 at 3 p.m. at the Bayou Jamb at Rebel Stadium in West Monroe.