Two undefeated teams put their perfect records on the line on Friday, Sept. 24 as Creswell welcomed the Glide Wildcats to their home field, exhibiting a showdown of 2A top 10 teams.
Ultimately, the Bulldogs came out on top.
“It was a battle tonight,” said Creswell Head Coach Scott Worsham. “I’m glad to see in the second half we were able to play better than they (Glide) did and it showed. And the guys played tough all game long.”
The first half was a defensive back and forth that didn’t see a score until near the middle of the second quarter when Glide set themselves up in Bulldog territory following a good punt return.
Glide running back Braxton Dill found a hole in the Creswell defense and moved the ball down to the Creswell 23-yard line with a gain of about 14 yards.
A blindside block called against Glide almost ended their drive as they faced a fourth down with 25 yards to go at the Creswell 40-yard line. But Wildcat quarterback Dylan Ackerman connected with Dill out of the backfield, allowing Dill to run the ball across the goal line for the first score of the game (Glide 6-0).
With a little over two minutes left in the half, Creswell’s defense stopped Glide near midfield, giving the Bulldogs a good opportunity to get on the scoreboard before halftime.
Quarterback Connor Hanson kept the ball and broke off a huge 53-yard run giving Creswell a much-needed score (Creswell 7-6).
About a minute left until halftime and Creswell back on offense, Glide’s defensive back Colby Bucich intercepted Hanson’s pass right at midfield giving Glide one more opportunity.
However, the Bulldog’s defense would prove to be impenetrable as Juan Beltran made an incredible interception of his own to stall the Glide offense as the half ended.
Creswell’s offense started to build momentum in the second half when they got their first possession with a little over six minutes left in the third quarter.
Hanson found one of his favorite receiving targets, Jack Nguyen, for a gain of over 40 yards. With the Bulldogs facing a fourth and eight, Hanson connected with his other leading receiver of the night Cade Dimmick for a 23-yard score, growing Creswell’s lead (14-6).
Dimmick’s strong defensive presence was felt on the field as he made an interception and returned it into Glide territory at their 37-yard line. This was followed by heavy penalties on Glide due to a late hit out of bounds and sideline interference.
The game started to get chippy when a Glide coach was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a Glide spectator was ejected. The ball was subsequently moved to the Glide 17-yard line.
Aggressiveness ramped up another level, but Creswell didn’t let that phase them as they capitalized on the good field position when Hanson found Nguyen for the 15-yard score (Creswell 21-6).
Creswell’s defense continued to blanket Glide’s passing attack while they were able to force another interception, this one by Logan Gordon, setting the Bulldogs up with great field position at the Glide 30-yard line.
Bulldog defensive back Jayden Warthen was able to break a couple of tackles and pick up 20 yards, moving the ball down to the Glide 10-yard line setting up first and goal for the Bulldogs.
With Creswell still driving, Hanson found his fellow captain Gordon in the endzone for another Creswell score and Hanson’s third passing touchdown on the night (28-6 Creswell).
As Creswell continued to pull away from Glide the scrappy play continued when Glide’s assistant coach picked up another penalty earning himself an early seat on the bus as he was ejected from the game.
Glide was able to make another score that was set up by a 30-yard connection from Ackerman to Bucich. Dill then punched in a score from one yard out, also adding the two-point conversion (28-14 Creswell). Glide had one last hope for an onside kick, but was snuffed out by Creswell who fell on top of the ball, ultimately ending the game.
“I think this big win gives us a lot of confidence that we can beat anybody. You know, they (Glide) were top four in OSAA. I think our guys know we can play with anybody,” said Worsham. “And we know it’s not gonna get any easier next week. So we just have to step up our seriousness in practice, our focus in practice and really take things seriously and push ourselves to get better.”
Creswell finds themselves in the top four now and was scheduled to face Jefferson in their first conference game on Oct. 1. The game, however, was canceled and has not been rescheduled as of The Sentinel’s press time.
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