The Creek Wood Red Hawks hosted the Fairview Yellow Jackets Friday night, in a district rematch of a Fairview blowout win last year. Very little went according to plan in the game, including a defensive battle early and a scoreless first quarter, but the Red Hawks rallied back from down 14 points to force overtime, and Creek Wood blasted the Jackets in the extra frame for a 35-28 upset win and redemption from last year.
Fairview struck early in the second quarter as junior quarterback Hunter Zimmerman connected on a third down pass to Ben Buttrey for a 68 yard touchdown, and after the extra point it was 7-0 Jackets. Creek Wood answered right back, with Kyle Klotz subbing in for Ian Spence in a two-quarterback system. On the second play of the drive, Klotz found Mathis Duncan for a 56 yard pass down to the Fairview 18, and a Jacket penalty on the play made it first and goal at the 9. Soon after, Klotz called his own number on a QB keeper, and scored from 2 yards out to tie the game at 7-7 with just under 10 minutes left in the half.
The Jackets took the lead again with 8:22 left in the second, as Cameron Ragsdale caught a 37 yard pass to start the drive, and another 38 yard pass for the go-ahead score. After forcing a three-and-out and a punt from the Red Hawks, the Jackets struck quickly with one play. Zimmerman hit Graham Estes for a 68 yard touchdown pass, and with 2:05 left in the first half Fairview led 21-7. Creek Wood answered back quickly on offense, but a penalty took away a 79 yard touchdown pass from Ian Spence to Duncan. Spence then threw a pick, but the Creek Wood defense stepped up for a sack, then an interception of its own. Dylan Huffman gave the Red Hawks great field position at the Jacket 22. In just one play, Spence fired a 22 yard touchdown pass to Isaac Edmondson, and after the extra point from Spence it was 21-14 Fairview, a score that would stand at halftime.
Creek Wood got the ball to start the second half, but the Yellow Jacket defense forced a three and out. Three plays after the punt, Zimmerman found Drevon Moore for a 49 yard score to give Fairview a two score cushion with 10:17 left in the third. As surprising as it might have seemed at the time, this would not only equal Fairview’s largest lead of the night, it would be the last time the visitors scored.
The Red Hawks were unable to convert on their next possession and turned the ball over on downs, but the defense propped up the home team and forced another Yellow Jacket punt. The next Creek Wood drive was helped by a pass interference penalty, and with 7:18 left in regulation Spence found Klotz for a 10 yard screen pass touchdown to pull within a score at 28-21. The defense stepped up once again for Creek Wood, led by Blake Bellamy who sacked Zimmerman on the ensuing drive, and the Red Hawks got the ball back. As the somewhat smaller crowd stomped on the bleachers on a cool night on Highway 47, Creek Wood drove calmly down the field in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter and tied the game with 1:20 left as Spence continued the stellar Red Hawk passing attack with an 18 yard strike to Jonathan McCloud. Spence’s extra point made it 28-28, and despite some tentative testing of the waters the Jackets played it safe and went to overtime.
Momentum was already wearing red at that point, but Fairview won the overtime coin toss. Since TSSAA overtime rules state that each team must possess the ball with a first and goal from the ten yard line in each overtime, the Yellow Jackets forced Creek Wood to set the tempo. If Fairview’s defense turned away the Red Hawks, the visitors could steal a win with a score. That strategy backfired, however, as the fired-up Red Hawks ran the option on the first play. Spence kept the ball running off right end, and just before he took a punishing hit the senior pitched to his standing running back Klotz. The do-it-all back rammed his way into the end zone untouched, and Creek Wood had its first lead of the night. Spence nailed the point after, and it was 35-28 with Fairview needing an answer to keep playing.
The Red Hawk defense stood tall again and drove the Yellow Jackets backwards, turning them away on a four and out on a drive that started first and goal, and a sea of red swarmed to the goal line on the home side’s right. The Red Hawks avenged an embarrassing road loss from last season, overcame a two score deficit in the fourth quarter, and handed a district loss to a playoff team all in one fourth down stop. The Red Hawks won 35-28 in overtime, in a three hour marathon game in “The Woods.”
Creek Wood improves to 2-2 overall, 1-1 in District 11-AA. Creek Wood travels to Waverly Central (3-0, 1-0) next week, after the Tigers thumped Stewart County 53-14. Fairview (2-2, 1-2) hosts Montgomery Central, which lost a 14-13 heartbreaker at home against Hickman County. The Tigers and Bulldogs (3-0, 2-0) are two of the four unbeaten teams in 11-AA, along with Lewis County (3-0, 1-0) and powerhouse Camden Central (4-0, 3-0). After the Waverly game, Creek Wood will host Stewart County before getting a bye week.