By T. Scott Boatright
In these scarce times, sometimes even ammunition as simple as rocks are hard to find.
The Class 1A Cedar Creek Cougars hit the road Friday to take on the Class 2A Winnfield Tigers, and for a half it looked like “David” had a shot against the bigger Goliath.
But without enough rocks, sometimes the bigger Giant can hold on for the win.
Playing without starting senior quarterback Ladd Thompson, the Cedar Creek defense played Giant killers as long as they could before the Tigers outlasted the Cougars in the second half for a 20-0.
Lady Luck danced on the Cougars’ side in the first half, as two Winnfield scoring opportunities went for naught to set up a scoreless game at intermission.
Winnfield looked like it would take an early lead midway through the opening stanza as the Tigers’ Joshua Hays caught a pass inside Cedar Creek territory that initially looked like it would be an easy score.
That’s where Lady Luck first stepped in.
Hays fumbled the ball just before crossing the goal line as the Cougars regained possession 7:34 into the first quarter.
Later in the first quarter, Winnfield completed a long pass into the red zone but fumbled as the Cougars’ Hayden Durrett recovered to send the game into halftime scoreless.
Winnfield finally found pay-dirt at the 7:26 mark of the third quarter as Malachai Williams’ 8-yard scoring scamper put the Tigers on top 6-0.
On the Cougars following offensive possession, freshman quarterback Kade Luker — making his first career start — threw an interception and the Tigers returned it 49 yards for a TD and a 14-0 lead late in the third quarter.
A 31-yard scoring scamper by Winnfield’s Jaylon Johnson sealed the deal, dropping the Cougars to 0-3 on the season.
In a defensive game that saw only a combined 15 first downs, Winnfield totaled 271 yards of offense while holding the Cougars to 117.
Gray Worthey led Cedar Creek with 63 rushing yards on 12 carries while Noah Durrett added 26 yards on nine attempts. Luker was 3-of-16 for 14 yards and two interceptions while Lawson Lillo, James Meyers and Worthey each recorded one reception.
Defensively, the Cougars were led by Lillo and Meyers with 12 tackles while Worthey and Noah Durrett each added seven takedowns.
The Cougars next week will play host to Delhi, which stands at 1-2 after falling to Capitol 58-0 Friday night.