By Jim Irish
Photos by Jim Irish
Cedar Creek football led a game for the first time this season, but it was short lived in a 42-20 loss to Lockhart in a District 13-5A Division II opener at Memorial Stadium on Friday.
Cedar Creek lost its 20th consecutive game dating back to 2021.
The Eagles (0-5 overall) took advantage of a fumble recovery by cornerback Chris Nino on a pass reception by Lockhart’s Quavon Reese in the first quarter.
Cedar Creek wide receiver Roy Rose dropped a pass in the end zone, but quarterback Dillon Dubee found paydirt from the one-yard line a few plays later. New kicker Manuel Duran converted the extra point for a 7-0 led with 7:01 remaining in the first quarter.
Cedar Creek defensive back Ivan Lopez continued the alert play, intercepting a pass by Lockhart quarterback Ashton Dickens on the Lions’ next drive.
But Cedar Creek handed it back on its first play after an interception by Lockhart’s Zakaya Gathings.
Lockhart (2-3) tied it on a 24-yard reverse by Kadon Moebes, son of head coach Todd Moebes.
Cedar Creek failed to pick up the ball on the next kickoff, and Lockhart recovered at the Eagles’ 28. Four running plays later, Nathan Garcia scored from the two for a 14-7 lead still in the first quarter.
“(It was) a miscommunication on a kickoff return and gave ‘em the ball. Quick scored on that,” Cedar Creek head coach Josh Thomas said.
Lockhart extended the lead to 21-7 on a 30-yard blast up the middle by running back Nathaniel Gonzales.
"We did some good things in the first half, and the defense battled for us, kept us in the game."
-- Cedar Creek head coach Josh Thomas
An interception by Cedar Creek’s Joseph Redmon gave the Eagles excellent position at the Lockhart 41. A well-executed play-action pass by quarterback Dubee connected with H-back Mason Thomas, Josh Thomas’ son, for a 30-yard touchdown. Cedar Creek trailed 21-14 at halftime.
“We did some good things in the first half, and the defense battled for us, kept us in the game,” Thomas said.
Lockhart’s Gonzales, a 5-foot-7, 175-pound senior, added touchdowns of 3 and 41 yards in the second half. He finished with 262 yards on 25 carries (10.5 yard average).
“They were opportunistic, made some explosive plays, and we missed some open-field tackles,” Thomas said.
Moebes estimated that Gonzales is “inching” towards 1,000 yards after only five games.
“He's doin’ a great job,” Moebes said. “Those (linemen) up front, we certainly lean on them. The Offensive line has been doin’ a great job all year.”
"We do have some full-size children."
-- Lockhart coach Todd Moebes referring to his offensive linemen
Moebes said two of the five linemen weigh at least 300 pounds.
“We do have some full-size children,” he said. “They’re real athletic too.”
Lockhart was far more successful on the run than on the pass with 424 yards rushing. Dickens completed 4-of-13 passes for 67 yards with two interceptions.
“It was a very hard-fought win,” Moebes said. “I’m very pleased to come out on top.
“We had a couple of turnovers, and (Cedar Creek) did a great job to create those. We were fortunate to capitalize on the ones we got as well. I thought we played real strong in the second half to create a little separation there.”
Thomas caught his second touchdown pass for two yards from Dubee in the fourth quarter.
“The effort from start to finish was much better than last week,” Thomas said. “The execution (on offense was a little better. We missed some opportunities in the passing game that we’ll take advantage of as the season goes.”
Cedar Creek quarterback Blaze Orr (shoulder) and running back K’Veahon Houston (knee surgery) returned but played sparingly. Orr completed 3-of-13 passes for 43 yards. Houston rushed for 11 yards on four carries.
“You don’t want to give (Houston) so many reps because of (a lack of) game shape,” Thomas said. “You don’t rush the envelope, especially coming off the injury like he had. Next week, he’ll get some more reps in practice.”
Dubee completed 7-of-19 passes for 72 yards but suffered two interceptions.
Devon James led Cedar Creek rushers with 51 yards on 12 carries.
Next Friday, Cedar visits defending district champion Liberty Hill, which is off to a rare slow start at 2-3 (0-1 in district).
Jim Irish is a freelance writer in Bastrop, Texas