By Jim Irish
Photos by Jim Irish
Bastrop freshman quarterback Weston Nielsen is displaying more poise and confidence each game.
The 6-foot-2 signal caller threw four touchdown passes, picking apart Cedar Creek’s secondary in a 34-7 victory in the Battle of Bastrop at Memorial Stadium on Friday.
Nielsen has a 3-1 record as a starter. He moved into the starting position after injuries to season starter Quintaelyn Joyner and backup Braden Tuck.
Tuck has returned and is playing in the defensive secondary, while Joyner is out for the remainder of the season.
Bastrop currently is in second place in District 13-5A at 2-1
Bastrop (5-2 overall, 2-1 in District 13-5A DIII) has defeated crosstown rival Cedar Creek in 11 of 12 contests since Cedar Creek’s first varsity season in 2012. Cedar Creek’s only victory 17-7 occurred in 2019 when Jon Edwards was the head coach and defensive lineman, currently starting for the University of Texas, starred.
The Bears are currently tied for second place in district with Liberty HIll. San Antonio Pieper resides in first place at 3-0.
Bastrop has already more than doubled its win total from last year (2-8).
Bastrop running back Ladanian Merino opened the scoring with a 44-yard sprint down the left sideline in the first quarter.
Merino rushed for 155 yards on 12 carries.
Later in the first quarter, Nielsen, who slings his passes, threw long to wide receiver Keyshon Moore, who cut left, leaving Cedar Creek’s Seth Staples on the ground for a 74-yard touchdown.
Moore caught a low pass over the middle from Nielsen for a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Moore, who has an extra gear for acceleration, finished with six receptions for 155 yards.
Also in the second quarter, Nielsen rolled right and threw left to connect with James Marshall for a 3-yard touchdown.
Before halftime, Nielsen split two Cedar Creek defenders to hit wide receiver Jaelyn Gratten for a 26-yard touchdown
Bastrop led 34-0 at halftime and played substitutes in the second half.
Cedar Creek (0-7, 0-3) scored in the second half to avert a shutout.
The Eagles have lost 22 consecutive games dating back to 2021.
Bastrop plays host to Veterans Memorial (j4-2, 1-1), which suffered a 28-21 loss to Liberty Hill.
Cedar Creek visits San Antonio Pieper (5-1, 2-0) on Friday.
Jim Irish is a freelance writer in Bastrop, Texas