The pundits didn’t think Creek Wood had a chance. Those pundits were wrong, as the smaller Red Hawks under first-year head coach Justin Palmer dominated the season opening showdown against the established Dickson County squad on Friday night.
Unfortunately for the home side, the final score did not reflect the tone of the game as the Cougars mounted an impressive comeback and stole the win 21-15 in Charlotte.
The two sides traded punts in the opening quarter, and the Red Hawks got the raw end of the field position battle in the process. However, two big plays from running back Ethan Griffin sparked Creek Wood on a late drive–the latter being a 30 yard touchdown run with 59 seconds left in the opening stanza. The snap on the extra point try was wide and bounced off holder Luke Street’s hand, but he chased it down and somehow found the endzone on the left side of the field, giving CWHS an 8-0 lead.
Creek Wood shocked the visiting Cougars with an onside kick and drove the ball deep into Dickson County’s end, but the drive stalled. The Red Hawks had multiple trips into the red zone in the first half, but were unable to cash in, with a missed field goal and a turnover on downs at the two. Dickson County also had miscues in the opening stanzas, including a costly clipping penalty that negated a touchdown that could have led to the tie. When the first half came to a close, Creek Wood still held on to the 8-0 lead.
Almost five minutes into the third, Dickson County finally found an answer, as Collier Wolcott banged his way into the endzone from seven yards out, but the two-point conversion was no good and the Red Hawks still led 8-6. Creek Wood answered back quickly with a 9 yard Griffin touchdown with 3:26 left in the third, and the Coulter Dotson extra point made it 15-6 Red Hawks.
Just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Cougars answered right back with a 90 yard touchdown run from Tez Coleman, and the Chase Rampaul extra point made it 15-13 CWHS. Neither side could find the knockout punch right away in a tight fourth quarter, but fate began to intervene in the final minutes.
Creek Wood was trying to run the clock down, but the clock malfunctioned and referees had to keep the time on the field. The Red Hawks were unable to pick up the first down and had to punt the ball back to DCHS with mere minutes left and a field goal lead.
Jacob Murfree and the Dickson County offense responded by going to work. Unfazed by the unique clock situation, the visitors marched down the field and took the 21-15 lead off a Darian Burns 11 yard touchdown run and two-point conversion with around 20 seconds left.
Rampaul drove the kick down against the Red Hawk return game, and Creek Wood was unable to answer the DCHS score especially with no clear indicator of time remaining. The officials’ clocks ran out, and a 194 yard quarter by the Cougar offense shocked the home fans with a 21-15 walkoff win to make it 2 in a row for the Navy and Orange.
Creek Wood cycled quarterbacks Peyton Gibbs and Devan Higgins with solid results, a combined 16 of 24 for 162 and an interception, while the Cougars found less success through the air, punted 7 times, and were called for 12 penalties resulting in 90 yards. While both sides excelled in the run game, however, Dickson County made its hay on the ground. CWHS rushed 41 times for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns, but Dickson County only rushed 14 times but amassed 260 yards and 3 scores. Griffin finished with both scores for the Red Hawks, but Dickson County had a pair of 100 yard rushers: Coleman with 117 yards and a touchdown, and Burns with 108 and a score.
Dickson County hosts Columbia on Friday night, in a game that can be heard on WDKN 1260 AM and 101.5 The One FM. Creek Wood looks to rebound with a road trip to Fairview, a game that can be heard right here on RFCsports.com by clicking on the Listen Live button.