By Jim Irish
Cedar Creek battled San Antonio Southside — even leading into the third quarter — but fell short 31-24 in a non-district contest at Memorial Stadium on Friday.
The Eagles (0-2) have lost 17 consecutive games dating back to 2021.
Spotting Southside (1-1) a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter, Cedar Creek blitzed the Cardinals for two touchdowns within 15 seconds in a display of shock and awe.
Kole Masters sparked the Eagles with a 92-yard kickoff return, dashing through Southside defenders and out sprinting the last ones across the goal line with 1:37 remaining in the first quarter.
Southside fumbled on the first play of its next possession. Cedar Creek’s Ivan Lopez grabbed it and dashed about 20 yards for the score at the 1:22 mark.
"We stole some momentum late in the first quarter and early in the second and held onto it for a quite a while."
-- Cedar Creek coach Josh Thomas
Almost as fast as one blinks, Cedar Creek forged ahead 14-13 on David Sanchez’s extra point.
“We stole some momentum late in the first quarter and early in the second and held onto it for quite a while,” Cedar Creek head coach Josh Thomas said.
Southside head coach Ricky Lock acknowledged the fireworks by Cedar Creek.
“Bad things happen, you know,” Southside head coach Ricky Lock said after the game. “Their kids playin’ hard. They got 14 points and didn’t even have a first down in the game.”
Cedar Creek fired another salvo early in the second quarter, extending its lead to 21-13. Dillon Dubee, starting for injured Blaze Orr, connected with H-back Mason Thomas twice, the first for 19 yards and then on a play-action pass for 30 yards and a touchdown with 8:50 remaining in the second quarter.
Southside wide receiver Jeremy Obregon, who has received an offer from the University of Texas Permian Basin, caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Cayden Keeth to narrow it to 21-19. Obregon finished with nine receptions for 148 yards.
Sanchez put Cedar Creek on the board again with a 39-yard field that appeared to be touched at the line of scrimmage and went low over the bar for a 24-19 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Southside changed its offensive strategy, turning to running back Reuben Alaniz, a quick 5-foot-9, 155-pound senior with success. He carried eight times on the next drive, scoring from the 4 to regain the lead 25-24. Alaniz rushed for 134 yards on 28 attempts.
Southside added a two-yard rushing touchdown by Noah Van Ausdall in the fourth.
“We decided were were going to run,” Lock said about the second half. “This is supposedly one of the best offensive lines we've had since I’ve been there. (And) we’ve had some good ones.”
Thomas said Southside’s offensive line “did a really good job opening up more creases for (Alaniz). Anytime you get a good back in space, he’s going to find his own. They executed in the second half.”
Cedar Creek had only three possessions in the second half and didn’t generate much offense. On the final drive, Dubee gained 20 yards on a scamper after a bad snap but was later intercepted by Ausdall.
"... The biggest thing was we got more physical, played a tough brand of football."
“The offense got better tonight,” Thomas said. “The biggest thing was we got more physical, played a tough brand of football.”
Dubee completed 9-of-16 passes for 107 yards and was intercepted twice.
Anthony Scott, a sophomore, was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 29 yards on five carries.
Midway through the first quarter, Chris Nino, darting through traffic, returned a kickoff inside Southside’s five-yard line only to have it nullified by a penalty
Cedar Creek lost no fumbles after four last week.
In addition to Orr, wide receiver Kade Masters missed the game because of injury.
“A lot of it is precaution,” Thomas said about Orr and Masters. “We’re still early in the season, and we don’t want to take the risk of bringing them back too soon."
Running back K’Veahon Houston missed the first two games and has to be cleared by the surgeon after undergoing a procedure in the summer, Thomas said.
Cedar Creek visits Hays in a non-district game on Thursday.
Jim Irish is a freelance writer in Bastrop, Texas