Category Archives: Football

NW Downs CW, Misses Playoffs Anyway

The last two weeks of Creek Wood’s football season came down to two basic options. If the Red Hawks beat Kenwood, their regular-season finale against Clarksville Northwest would likely be a win-or-go-home game for a playoff spot. If the Knights prevailed, then Creek Wood’s home finale would simply be to send off the seniors and to build momentum for 2016. Kenwood managed 350 yards rushing and six touchdowns by one player, but the Red Hawks very nearly pulled the upset anyway. However, the Knights held on, and the clock struck midnight on Creek Wood’s playoff chances.

Rather than knowing the season was over and playing to put the bad memory behind them or knowing the final game was an early playoff game, the Red Hawks welcomed the Vikings in the worst possible scenario–Creek Wood knew it had barely missed the playoffs, while Northwest needed a win and help to make it themselves. As a result, Northwest was inspired, while the home team started a little flat and ended up frustrated; Northwest took the win 28-0 to end Creek Wood’s season.

Four of the first five drives of the game ended in punts, as the evenly matched sides struggled for field position. Northwest found success on the third drive of the game, however, driving the ball 86 yards and scoring on a 9 yard run by Desmond Daniels to make it 7-0 Vikings with 2:47 left in the first quarter.

Creek Wood lost star wide receiver Jonathan McCloud in the first half to an injury, which changed the offensive gameplan. However, after forcing Northwest to punt early in the second quarter, the Red Hawks fumbled the ball away and set up Northwest near mid field. Viking quarterback Micah Bennett struggled finding the mesh point with his running backs all night, but at least once it led to a good thing–he missed the handoff running right and inadvertently ran a counter play himself, busting free to the left for 33 yards and a touchdown. Northwest led 14-0 with just over 8 minutes left in the first half.

Northwest forced Creek Wood to punt on the ensuing drive, and the Vikings drove the field again. Bennett completed just two passes on the night, but one of them ended that drive late in the first half as he found Zach Dixon for an 11 yard score. At the end of the first half, Northwest led 21-0, and the Senior Night/Pinkout Night crowd for the Red Hawks was stunned and restless.

After halftime, Creek Wood got the ball first, but punted. Northwest used up 2 minutes, but punted as well, and the Red Hawks got great field position at the Northwest 47. Quarterback Peyton Gibbs and running back Quinton Poole drove the ball down the field, but down three scores the Red Hawks had to find the end zone. Instead, Northwest stopped the home side on fourth down at the one yard line to get the ball back, and ultimately punted to try to flip the field. That strategy didn’t work, as Creek Wood started that drive in plus territory as well. Unfortunately, the Red Hawks fumbled again, and Northwest recovered again. Senior Jahnal Browne put the game out of reach with an 11 yard score, to make it 28-0 early in the fourth.

Creek Wood fought and clawed, even recovering a fumbled punt return in the fourth, but tempers got hotter in the second half as well. The Red Hawks managed 10 first downs on the day, but the offense struggled overall, without any plays longer than a 24 yard pass from Gibbs to Trevor Sinks in the second half. After a hot start passing the football, Gibbs and his receivers struggled in the second half playing catch-up without their top target, and the quarterback finished 6-of-15. Poole had the bulk of the carries and was leaned on heavily in the second half, but the Northwest run stoppers kept him mostly bottled up; the lightning quick runner had a long of 12 on the day. Senior lineman Brenden Dickens took home MVP honors for Creek Wood, however, anchoring the center position as usual and having a standout day as a backup noseguard as well.

Creek Wood finished the year 3-7, 0-5 in Region 6-4A. The 3 wins came over opponents with a combined 9-21 record, though the first win was over a Fairview team that finished 7-3 and is going to the playoffs. Creek Wood nearly beat Kenwood while losing to Lipscomb Academy 35-7; however the Knights upended Lipscomb Academy 26-24 to claim the top spot in the Region, with Hillwood (which the Red Hawks lost to 28-24) taking the third place spot. If Montgomery Central had beaten the Hilltoppers, Northwest would have propelled itself into the last playoff spot. However, Hillwood held serve and won by 5, keeping the Indians in and the Vikings out despite the shutout.

Central travels to historic Pearl-Cohn in Nashville on Friday night to open the playoffs. The 6-4 Firebirds have never played the Indians, but they are 1-4 in non-region games this season. Hillwood travels to 7-3 Springfield for another first-time matchup; the Yellowjackets beat 6-4A champ Kenwood 36-6 earlier this season. Lipscomb Academy hosts 3-7 Maplewood, which has lost 2 straight games to the Mustangs but won the other 5 games in the series. And Kenwood hosts 4-6 Portland which is 1-4 in the series, but beat the Knights 21-19 in the last meeting back in 2008.

Branch “Train” Runs Wild as Kenwood Outlasts CW

The Creek Wood Red Hawks needed a spectacular effort on the road at Kenwood, the number two team in Region 6-4A, to get a win and keep their playoff hopes alive. Creek Wood controlled tempo, played well on both sides of the ball, won the turnover battle for most of the game, won the penalty battle, dominated on special teams, and played with the lead late in the game. Unfortunately for the Red Hawks, Antwuan Branch was a nearly unstoppable force at running back for the homestanding Knights, and his big-splash runs in the second half keyed a huge comeback. CWHS had a chance to win in the final two minutes, but interceptions on their first and last plays of the game bookended another tough loss for the Red Hawks 39-34 in Clarksvlle.

The Knights took the opening kickoff, chewed up over 5 and a half minutes of clock, and scored on a 12 yard Branch run. Kenwood’s placekicker Kalena Boykin was recovering from a leg injury she sustained playing soccer, so punter Omar Yunis went the distance as the kicker and struggled. He missed the first extra point, so Kenwood’s lead stayed at 6-0. After the kickoff, Creek Wood took over at the 35 yardline, but Peyton Gibbs threw a pass on the opening play that was intercepted. The pick was ultimately harmless, because a sack on a fourth down try turned the ball back over to the Red Hawks near midfield, and a 1-yard Gibbs scamper made it 7-6 Creek Wood early in the second quarter after Collin Ptak made the extra point.

A 12-yard plunge by Branch on the ensuing drive put Kenwood back in front, and Jaylen Scott rushed in for the 2-point conversion to make it 14-7 with just over 7 minutes left in the half. The Knight defense would force Creek Wood to punt, but after chewing up more than 4 minutes with a solid offensive drive Kenwood fumbled the football away. Creek Wood was set up with 1:28 left in the half and the ball at its own 21; less than 30 seconds later, Quinton Poole was in the endzone on a 40 yard pass from Gibbs, and it was 14-14. Kenwood chose to take a knee, and at the end of the first half the game was tied.

Creek Wood got the ball to start the second half, but the Red Hawks were forced to punt. Kenwood wasted no time as Branch raced 85 yards for a score on the first play, putting Kenwood up 21-14 with around 8 minutes left in the third. Creek Wood answered back with a 17 yard touchdown run by Poole, but the point after was no good and the Red Hawks trailed 21-20 with around 6 minutes left. Kenwood chewed up most of the remaining time in the third and scored on a 2 yard plunge by Branch, but the point after was no good; Kenwood was up 27-20 with around 2 minutes left in the third.

The Red Hawks’ next drive stalled, but Jonathan McCloud unfurled a 50 yard punt early in the fourth quarter to pin the Knights back at the 20, and Branch fumbled on the first play of the drive. Back in business at the 27 yardline, Gibbs faked a handoff and found the endzone on a 15 yard run. Ptak’s extra point was good, and the game was tied 27-27. Branch broke away for a 76 yard touchdown to open the ensuing Kenwood drive, but the point after was missed again, and the Knights led 33-27 with 10:46 left. Creek Wood ground down the clock on its next possession, and Poole capped the drive with a 2 yard touchdown run. With Ptak’s point-after, the Red Hawks led 34-33 with 6:45 remaining.

Kenwood drove the field methodically on its next drive, and despite the best efforts of the Creek Wood defense Branch found the endzone for a 5 yard score to make it 39-34 with 39.6 seconds left. The two-point try to make it a 7-point game was stopped short, so the quick strike Red Hawks had a chance. Kenwood nearly ended things early, however, as the in-between kickoff hit a few feet in front of a Creek Wood upback, went straight into the air, and was pounced on by multiple eager Knight special teamers. In their haste, however, they were unable to secure the football, and it rolled safely to a Red Hawk return man who covered up at the 37 with 34.6 seconds left. Gibbs looked up the field and connected with McCloud for 29 yards and a first down, but with 10 seconds left Gibbs was picked off. James Williams just took a knee once, and the ballgame was over. Creek Wood again fell just short, while Kenwood was able to hang on to second place by its fingernails.

Creek Wood was only penalized 3 times for 30 yards (not counting offsetting fouls), while Kenwood was penalized 11 times for 100 yards. The Knights lost 2 fumbles while the Red Hawks lost none; Gibbs threw 1 touchdown pass and 2 interceptions on 7 of 12 passing, while Williams was 1 for 4 with no touchdowns nor interceptions. CWHS had 13 first downs, while Kenwood managed 9.

Poole was the Creek Wood player of the game, with 38 yards through the air and 83 yards on the ground, 1 receiving touchdown and 2 rushing. McCloud had 5 catches for 130 yards, and Zach Harris had one catch for 23. Gibbs threw for 191 yards and one score, while rushing for 74 yards, and Matthew Davids had 3 rushes for 24 yards. Branch, a 6-foot-even 200 pound junior, was nearly all of Kenwood’s offense, averaging 11 yards per carry as he rushed 32 times for 358 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Creek Wood returns home for Senior Night this Friday, closing out the season against Clarksville Northwest.

Loretto Washes Out Against CW

The Creek Wood Red Hawks needed something to bounce their way. A soggy field helped trip them up earlier in the year at Cheatham County. Fumbles had been an issue all season long. Special teams issues and a turnover in a rainy game the prior week kept Creek Wood from winning its first region game, a 4-point loss at Hillwood. This Friday night, a 2-hour road trip to nearly the Alabama line and a driving rain through most of the game could have spelled disaster.

Instead, the adversity galvanized the Red Hawks, who played their best game of the season and torched Loretto 60-21 on Senior Night. The Mustangs took the opening kickoff, but fumbled with 9:19 left in the first quarter. Trevor Sinks recovered for Creek Wood, and Quinton Poole found the end zone on a 50 yard run to make it 7-0 Red Hawks with 8:37 left in the opening frame. The Creek Wood defense forced Loretto to punt on their next drive, and the visitors drove 85 yards to score again, this time on a Matthew Davids run from 41 yards out to make it 14-0 with 3:03 left in the opening frame.

Loretto got on the board on the ensuing possession, with quarterback Nicholas Kerstiens scoring from 3 yards out to make it 14-7 with 11:01 left in the second. Peyton Gibbs answered in kind, however, leading his Red Hawks back down the field and scoring on his own 18 yard run less than 2 minutes later to make it 21-7. The CWHS defense held up on Loretto’s next drive, stopping the Mustangs on a fourth-down conversion attempt and getting a turnover on downs at the Creek Wood 36, but the offense would stall. The Red Hawks punted, pinning back Loretto at their own 45, but the Mustang option attack started to click, and a 47 yard touchdown by freshman Lucas Nobles cut the lead to 21-14 with 4:07 left in the first half. Nobles was getting extended carries as a fullback/halfback, as workhorse tailback Ezra Childress was injured in the first half and did not return, reportedly due to a concussion.

Gibbs led the offense down the field again, and in just over 3 minutes found the endzone again on a 9 yard scamper. The extra point from Luke Ptak was no good, but Creek Wood extended the lead to 27-14 with 44 seconds left in the half. The Red Hawks used great defense and their array of time-outs to force Loretto to punt after a 22 second drive. Creek Wood went to the locker room up by 2 scores and dominating on the scoreboard and the stat sheet, but in the second half things got crazy.

Creek Wood took the opening kickoff, and within about a minute found the endzone again on a 37 yard dash by Davids. A penalty on the Mustangs was enforced on the kickoff, so after a blocked extra point, Ptak drilled the kickoff into the endzone for a touchback to start Loretto off at the 20. The Mustangs would lose a fumble to start off the drive, and Creek Wood was in business at the 23 yard line with 10:45 left in the third–ten seconds after Davids found the end zone. Gibbs found Jonathan McCloud through the air for a 23 yard touchdown pass 8 seconds later, and as the Ptak kick was good, Creek Wood was up 40-14 with 10:37 left in the third. Loretto would fumble again on their next drive, setting the Red Hawks up at their own 35, and Gibbs would find McCloud again for 27 yards and another score with under 7 minutes remaining, and the extra point was no good, making it 46-14.

Loretto would punt on their next drive, but Creek Wood turned it over on downs at the 33 yard line, setting up the Mustangs for their only score of the second half, a 57 yard touchdown run by Aaron Presley with 26.5 seconds left in the third to make it 46-21. McCloud would respond by running the kickoff back 65 yards to make it 53-21 with 11 seconds left in the frame.

Loretto would get the ball again with 2 seconds left in the third, but the Mustangs would lose their third fumble in the second half, setting up Creek Wood at the Loretto 35. The Red Hawks would be unable to capitalize, though a punt pinned Loretto back deep at their own three. The Mustangs coughed the ball up for the fifth time on the night as Garrett Stansberry pounced on the football at the 15 yardline as the clock ran for the mercy rule. One play later, Creek Wood rewarded the reserve for his effort, and Stansberry’s 15 yard rush coupled with another Ptak make put the game out of reach at 60-21.

McCloud finished the night with 176 all purpose yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, and the kick return score to lock up player of the game honors. Gibbs threw for 2 touchdowns and rushed for 2, while Davids rushed for 2 as well; Poole and Stansberry had a rushing touchdown each. Loretto lost 5 fumbles, while the Red Hawks did not turn the ball over at all save for two punts and a failed fourth down conversion, and Creek Wood got 4 touchdowns as a result of Loretto turnovers. The defense stood tall for CWHS, as the Mustangs were just 1 of 7 passing for 5 lone yards on the night.

Creek Wood has a bye week, before finishing out the season with back to back Region games after fall break.

Red Hawk Rally Just Short at Hillwood

The Creek Wood Red Hawks had every reason to go through the motions against Hillwood on Friday night. The Hilltoppers were celebrating homecoming, held a 28-6 lead in the third, and had a personnel advantage as everyday starting punter and noseguard Garrett Dolinich was out with a sickness and starting linebacker Stetson Spicer (who was punting in Dolinich’s absence) was injured during the game and did not return. Creek Wood’s special teams struggled on the night, with a blocked punt and a blocked extra point in the game. And a driving rain throughout the game led to 5 lost fumbles, 3 lost by the visiting Creek Wood side.

The Red Hawks did not care about the odds, however. A solid effort with 18 unanswered second half points pulled CWHS within 4 late in the game, but as Creek Wood made its final drive and looked for its first lead in the game, Hillwood picked off Peyton Gibbs for the only pick on the night, and the Toppers salted away a 28-24 Region win.

Eli McCorkle was a workhorse for the Hilltoppers, ramming the rock 11 times on the opening drive for 47 yards and a touchdown. That drive took 4:44 off the first quarter clock and covered 65 yards to put the hometown Toppers up 7-0. Creek Wood’s ensuing drive would start with good field positioning but the offense quickly stalled, and with the punt blocked Hillwood got the ball on the Red Hawk 22 and quickly cashed in to make it a 14-0 lead off McCorkle’s second touchdown run of the night.

Creek Wood answered back on the next drive, chewing up just over 3 minutes before Quinton Poole found the endzone from a yard out. His extra point try was blocked, and with 40 seconds left in the first it was 14-6 Hillwood. The Toppers drove the ball well on the ensuing drive, but fumbled the ball away in the rain at the Red Hawks’ 14. Creek Wood returned the favor with a one-play drive ending with a fumble at the 10, and the Toppers made it 21-6 in the first half with a Deshawn Kinzer rushing score. Kinzer rushed 6 times in the first half for 27 yards and a score for Hillwood; McCorkle had 21 first half carries for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Creek Wood looked to establish itself in the third, but Jordan King recovered a Red Hawk fumble and scored to seemingly ice the game 28-6, but Creek Wood didn’t go away. Poole had a 21 yard rush for a first down, then rushed from 12 out to score on the very next play. Poole was stopped on the 2-point try, but the Red Hawks cut the lead back to 28-12 with 3:55 left in the third. A 13 yard option keeper for Gibbs opened the fourth for Creek Wood, then Poole struck again from 54 yards away. A penalty pushed back the 2-point try, and Gibbs was dropped on the attempt, but the Red Hawks trimmed the lead down to 28-18 with 11:23 left in regulation.

A solid drive by the Toppers ended abruptly with another fumble, and after some big running plays Creek Wood cashed in as Gibbs found his returning tight end Hayden Boone on the hot pass for a 45 yard touchdown pass. Gibbs was sacked on the 2 point try, but the score was 28-24 with 4:40 left. The Red Hawk defense stepped up on a third and four, sacking Terron Smith for a 1 yard loss and forcing a punt that went into the endzone for a touchback. A big 17 yard rush by Gibbs helped key the offense, but on a third and six, Gibbs floated the ball over the middle and it was picked off by Smith to set the Toppers up. A third down scramble by Smith picked up 37 yards and let the mobile quarterback kneel on the ball and run out the clock, as the Hilltoppers escaped with a 4 point win.

Poole earned MVP honors, scoring 3 touchdowns for the Red Hawks in the comeback effort. Creek Wood finished with 291 total yards–63 through the air and 228 on the ground, with Poole earning 109 rushing yards himself.

Creek Wood travels to Loretto for a final non-region game, then after the bye week finishes with two critical region contests if the Red Hawks want to try to make the postseason.

Rain Drowns Cougars

Dickson dropped their third Region 7AAAAA contest Friday as they fell to Rossview 12-7 in the pouring rain. Dickson County struggled throughout the first half to deal with the field conditions as much as the Hawks defense. The Cougars first scoring chance came on a fumble return by Devontae Sanders from deep in Dickson territory. It was returned for a touchdown but a personal foul, 15 yards behind Sanders, brought the ball back to the Cougar 40 yard line. Later, in the second quarter, a Jacob Murphree interception was returned for a touchdown but was also called back due to a penalty. With neither team able to sustain a drive in the first half and penalties preventing big plays, the teams went to the half scoreless as he rain ended. The first half saw a total of 8 mishandled balls, including a dropped punt by both punters, and multiple fumbles for each team. With the rain stopped the second half presented the best opportunity for the offenses to get moving. Dickson made an adjustment to contend with the conditions, switching to a two tight end set but struggled two move the ball. Nearing the end of the third quarter Rossview finally broke into the scoring column with an 11 yard touchdown run by the quarterback Justice. The Hawks kicker missed the PAT short and the Cougars trailed 6-0 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter. Moments later Dickson drove deep into Rossview territory but came up empty following a fourth Murphree interception. Rossview marched downfield on a drive aided by two personal foul penalties and scored on a 23 Cardavius Davis touchdown run making it 12-0 after another missed PAT. Dickson quickly responded with a five yard Murphree touchdown run and PAT to cut the lead to 12-7 with 1:14 to go in the game. The Cougars couldn’t recover the Chase Rampaul onside kick. After picking up a first down the Hawks kneeled to run the clock out and send the Dickson home with another loss.

Murphree finished 13 of 25 for 111 yards and 4 interceptions plus a rushing touchdown. The Cougars were held to just 150 yards of total offense on the night. This weeks matchup with Northeast is also homecoming night. Coverage begins at 6:30 on WDKN and 101.5 The One FM.

CW Outlasts Gunslinging East 24-20 on Homecoming

The Creek Wood Red Hawks welcomed a dangerous East Hickman squad to Charlotte for homecoming on Friday night. The Eagles were winless on the season, and their defense had not held an opponent under 35 points all season, but East Hickman had a passing attack that was impressive even in tricky field conditions.

The Red Hawks took the lead early, retook the lead in the middle of the contest, and held off a late rally to keep the visitors winless and make the home folks happy 24-20.

While East Hickman had to turn to the running game more than usual in a persistent rain storm, the Red Hawks found just enough success through the air, including a 159 yard performance from game-MVP Jonathan McCloud, who had a 75-yard touchdown catch on Creek Wood’s first offensive play from scrimmage. The extra point was missed, so CW led 6-0; East answered back with a quick score to make it 7-6, but Ethan Griffin responded with a 5 yard touchdown run and quarterback Peyton Gibs scored with his legs from 1 yard out. With a second extra point miss and a failed 2-point try, Creek Wood led 18-7.

Bolstered by a nearly 100 yard passing performance in the first half alone, Jacob Stone led the Eagles back down the field and cut the lead to 18-14; East Hickman had first half touchdowns on the ground and through the air–Tyler Mobley on a 3 yard rush and Devonte Springer on a 29 yard pass play from Stone. The Red Hawks would not be denied, however, as Griffin found the endzone on a 3 yard rush to cap another first-half scoring drive, and Creek Wood took a 24-14 lead into the locker room.

The second half was largely a defensive battle, as the Creek Wood secondary employed a bend-but-don’t-break mentality against the East Hickman passing attack. Penalties against the Eagles, along with two second-half sacks of Stone after three in the first half, kept the visitors mostly in check. East Hickman did score on a 1 yard pass to Lenny Watts to make it 24-20, but Bailey Krebs missed the extra point. Creek Wood’s offense struggled in the second half and the Red Hawks couldn’t find another score to answer, but the offensive line only allowed a single one-yard sack all game, and Gibbs found McCloud for a big 13 yard completion to help the Red Hawks keep the clock moving and escape with a homecoming win.

The Red Hawks return to Region play on Friday, travelling to Hillwood. Creek Wood is the only winless team in Region 6-4A, but as there are only 6 teams in the Region and the top 4 make the playoffs, an 0-2 start just means that the Red Hawks will need to win and keep winning if they want to make a run at a playoff berth.

Lipscomb Academy Too Much as CW Returns Home

The last time that the Creek Wood Red Hawks played in Charlotte was Week 1, the Creek Wood/Dickson County game to open the season. The Red Hawks seemed re-energized by finally getting to play at home, and Coach Justin Palmer let his team dress for the occasion with brand-new charcoal uniforms for the Region 6-4A contest.

Unfortunately, the Lipscomb Academy Mustangs weren’t interested in giving the home side a happy memory. The Mustangs had their bye week to start the season, and won two games before getting rocked the week prior…by 6A Overton. Lipscomb Academy used a senior-heavy lineup, physical size across the board, and a passing attack that defied any logical gameplan, to upend Creek Wood 35-7.

John Matt Merritt, the senior quarterback for the Mustangs, was primarily a game manager for the first two Lipscomb Academy games, handing off to the myriad backs behind a huge offensive line. While Merritt did pass against the Overton Bobcats, it was primarily because Lipscomb Academy was trailing against a school two classifications higher; the Mustangs averaged under 7 passes per game, counting the blowout.

That was why the passing attack was such a surprise. Merritt found Chad Newby for a 39 yard touchdown strike on his first pass of the game to put Lipscomb Academy up 7-0, and three passes later hooked up with Hampton Francis for the second time, a 19 yard touchdown strike to make it 14-0.  A couple of rushing scores for the Mustangs–a 40 yard run from John Thomas Paul and a 2 yard scamper for Grant Mitchell–gave Lipscomb Academy a 28-7 lead at the half.

Creek Wood was playing without its top wide receiver again in Jonathan McCloud, along with its backup quarterback Devon Higgins and a versatile two-way player Dylan Huffman. Despite being shorthanded and fumbling twice in the first half, the Red Hawks found the endzone as Peyton Gibbs connected with the returning standout Wyatt Page for a 4 yard first half touchdown strike. While Page was a reliable tight end last year, he’d been counted on more as a lineman in 2015; with tight end Hayden Boone also out for the game, Page filled in as he himself came back from an injury, and in that regard the Red Hawks didn’t miss a step.

Unfortunately, the size and physicality of Lipscomb Academy, the injury report for the Red Hawks–which grew as right tackle Cole Lewis also exited with an injury–and the deficit on the scoreboard all proved too much Creek Wood. Gibbs had been sacked three times in the first half, then a fourth time in the second half. Two offensive penalties and five incomplete passes in the final 24 minutes helped keep CWHS without a first down in the second half, and only one play after halftime went for double digit yardage–an 11 yard completion from Gibbs to Page.

Lipscomb Academy was not as crisp in the second half, but the big play helped the Mustangs ice the game 35-7 off a 12 yard run by Carson Meador. Lipscomb Academy rushed the ball for positive yardage with 10 different players on the night, and ran out the clock to escape Creek Wood with a 28-point win, improving to 3-1 overall, 2-0 in Region 6-4A play.

Creek Wood had several standouts despite the disappointing result.  Quinton Poole rushed 13 times for 64 yards, Johnny Lehto had 4 catches for 22 yards, Dakota Smith had 3 catches for 34 yards, and Page had 3 for 19 yards and the only touchdown for CWHS on the day. However, Gibbs earned MVP honors, going 11 for 17 passing for 72 yards and a touchdown, while rushing officially 10 times for only 13 yards, but the rushing stats were diminished by 4 sacks for -23 yards.

Creek Wood stays at home next week, as the Red Hawks have homecoming against former district foe East Hickman, for a non-Region tune-up. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm on the RFC Sports Network.

Shorthanded Red Hawks Fall in OT on Road

The Creek Wood Red Hawks were short-handed going into their fourth game of the season, a road game at the winless Cheatham County Central Cubs. Starting cornerback and versatile running back/receiver Dylan Huffman was out with an ACL injury, and returning wideout Jonathan McCloud wore Huffman’s #23 jersey to show support for his teammate. Running back Quinton Poole took over kicking duties in this non-region game. Backup quarterback Devon Higgins was also injured, meaning that Coach Justin Palmer couldn’t rotate Higgins with starter Peyton Gibbs, who had been getting extended time on defense with Higgins taking over more of the QB duties.

As thin as the Red Hawks were, they had their hands full with the old-school Cubs and former Creek Wood defensive coordinator Eric Hatley, and the boys from Ashland City had just enough to turn away CWHS in overtime 20-14.

Cheatham County had received a much heaver dose of rain on Friday, meaning that parts of the field were a muddy bog. That seemed to suit the I-backfield, traditional attack of the Cubs just fine. Creek Wood got the ball first, and Gibbs welcomed his wide receiver Gibbs back with a 12 yard pass for a first down on the second play of the game. Poole was counted on heavily out of the backfield, and he picked up another first down on a 14 yard run on their fifth play of the game. That drive would stall, however, and when Gibbs was sacked the Red Hawks had to punt the ball to Coach Hatley and the Cubs.

They were without their starting quarterback, Landon Barnes, and wideout-turned-quarterback J. D. Lovell was not called on to try the passing attack much in the sloppy conditions. Lovell handed the ball off 3 straight times, for gains of 11, 8, and 38 yards, with the last run a touchdown for freshman Walker Bonce. The extra point was no good, but Cheatham County led 6-0.

At that point, the game just got sloppy. Gibbs was intercepted on the second play of the series, but after the Cubs got the ball down to the CWHS 16, Matt Horton fumbled the ball and Luke Street recovered for the Red Hawks at their own 25. After an Ethan Griffin 13 yard run for a first down, Creek Wood again stalled and Garrett Dolinich had to punt. However, Cheatham County would fumble, and the Red Hawks were in business at the Cub 21. Poole rushed for a yard, then was called on again…fumbling the ball into the endzone, then recovering for a touchdown before the ball could roll out of bounds. Poole’s extra point try hit the left upright and bounced off, but the game was somehow tied 6-6 in the first half.

Poole’s kickoff rolled out of bounds in front of a Cheatham County returner, putting them at the 35, but after picking up a first down the Cubs were unable to convert. The Red Hawk defense forced a turnover on downs, but on a McCloud end around the ball came loose again and Cheatham recovered at their own 39. The Cubs would punt, and Creek Wood fed the defense a steady diet of Poole rushing the ball. Unfortunately for the Red Hawks, Poole tried to stretch a 12 yard run even longer, and the wet ball came out to Cheatham County.

The home team was set up at the 22, and took advantage of the miscue. Horton scored from 14 yards out, and added a rush for the 2 point conversion, to put Cheatham up 14-6. Both sides traded punts, and Creek Wood was unable to get anything else going before the end of the half.

In the second half, the sloppy field continued to cause sloppy play. Cheatham County picked up a first down, then Lovell was sacked, and one play later fumbled the football. Dakota Smith recovered to set up the Red Hawks at the Cub 37, but after a big run deep into the red zone Gibbs lost the ball to Cheatham County. Neither side could get much traction in the third, but early in the fourth quarter Gibbs led an effective drive, capped by a quarterback rush into the endzone for a score. Cheatham County was called for a penalty on the two-point try, moving the ball to the 1-and-a-half yard line, and Griffin plunged into the end zone for the tying two pointer. With 9:38 left in regulation, the game was tied 14-14.

Both teams showed signs of life in the final minutes, but neither side was able to score. In overtime, both teams get four downs to score from the 10 yard line, and as Cheatham won the toss the Red Hawks had to get the ball first. Creek Wood tried Griffin on a rush for 1 yard, and Gibbs passed to Griffin who was stopped short. Matthew Davids banged ahead for 3 yards on third and goal, but CWHS was still out of the endzone. Faced with a tough call–try a short field goal with a backup kicker in the mud, knowing a touchdown still beats you, or go for the touchdown on fourth down knowing that if you miss, any score ends the game–Creek Wood tried to rush the ball, and the Cub defense held the line. On Cheatham County’s first play of overtime, they went to a power I with three in the backfield, and powerful running back Marco Morrow hammered in from 10 yards out for a statement score that ended the game, 20-14 Cheatham in overtime.

The Creek Wood player of the game was Peyton Gibbs. Gibbs is used to rotating with Higgins, giving the Red Hawks a different look and letting Gibbs play more snaps on defense. With Higgins unavailable, Gibbs went the distance at QB, and gave the Red Hawks a chance to win, scoring a touchdown and getting the game to overtime. Cheatham improves to 1-3 on the season, while the Red Hawks fall to 1-3, having lost 2 in a row. Creek Wood hosts Lipscomb Academy on Friday night right here on, as the Red Hawks look to improve to 1-1 in Region 6-4A.

Montgomery Central Blanks Red Hawks

The Creek Wood Red Hawks traveled up Highway 48 on Friday night, looking to win their second straight game, second straight road game, and first Region 6-4A  chance all in a single game. The homestanding Indians had other ideas.

Montgomery Central won the coin toss and elected to take the opening kickoff. Other than having to convert an early fourth down, they had few problems on that drive, chewing up almost 9 of the 12 minutes in the first quarter and capping the drive with a 6 yard touchdown run by QB Peyton Delvendahl to make it 7-0.

The Red Hawks got the ball back, but the 9 seniors on the Montgomery Central defense made it tough sledding all night for the Creek Wood offense. Central got the ball back as Dequimothy Northington intercepted a pass from Peyton Gibbs, and Delvendahl scored again soon after, this time from 3 yards out early in the second quarter. The extra point was no good, but MCHS led 13-0.

The experienced, unbeaten Indians were able to build momentum, keeping their offense on the field for long stretches to wear down the Red Hawk defense, while the MCHS defense kept Creek Wood out of the red zone most of the night. The Red Hawks got a solid drive going to start the second half, riding the fresh legs of Quinton Poole, but the drive stalled, and Coulter Dotson missed a field goal, so the Indians defense held.

Central continued to dominate the time of possession battle, and opened the fourth quarter with a 21 yard field goal by Mitchell Hosea to make it 16-0, and in the final 11 minutes of the contest tempers began to flare for the weary Red Hawks. That led to frustration and at least one personal foul penalty as Montgomery Central pulled away, and after another steady diet of running plays, the Indians scored again off a 1 yard run to give Delvendahl his third score of the night, and to put the game away 23-0. Gibbs and Devon Higgins made it interesting in the final minutes, but Higgins was picked off by Dillon Cooley, and one kneeldown ended the game at 23-0.

Despite the loss, several Red Hawks had solid performances. Gibbs had one of the Red Hawks’ two interceptions of the lightly-utilized Indians passing attack, while Johnny Lehto had a big 33 yard reception late and Poole rushed for over 50 yards. However, the clear player of the game for the Red Hawks was Hayden Boone, who had some big catches early, was targeted often, and almost certainly had double-digit tackles by halftime. Wherever the ball was, Boone was in the area all game, making him a worthy MVP.

While Central moves to 3-0 on the season, the Red Hawks (1-2, 0-1) travel to Cheatham County Central High School next Friday night for a non-region game. Kickoff from Ashland City is set for 7pm, and the game will again be heard on 101.5 The One FM and WDKN 1260 AM.

CW Overcomes Fumbles, Scores 17 Straight at FHS

The Creek Wood Red Hawks were all set to take down Fairview on the road and improve to 1-1 on the year. They just had to take care of some early jitters first.

Fairview recovered the opening kickoff, a Creek Wood onside kick attempt, but the Red Hawk defense stopped the drive around midfield and forced the Yellow Jackets to punt. On their first offensive play, CWHS quarterback Peyton Gibbs handed the ball off to Ethan Griffin around the goal line, but after a gain of about six yards, Griffin fumbled. Tony Torres recovered for Fairview and ran into the endzone for a touchdown. Just like that, Creek Wood was down 7-0, after a defensive stand and one offensive play.

The Jackets kicked off, and again Creek Wood was trapped in its own end. On the second play of that drive, Gibbs fumbled on a running play, and Fairview recovered in the end zone, scoring soon after to make it 14-0. The Red Hawks seemed snake-bitten: two drives, three plays, two fumbles, and two defensive touchdowns.

Fortunately for Creek Wood, the fumble bug was contagious, as both sides combined for more than a half-dozen fumbles in the game, and Fairview committed a large number of penalties that helped keep the Red Hawks in the game.

Creek Wood drove down the field late in the second quarter but was unable to find the end zone. Coach Justin Palmer elected to take the points, and Coulter Dotson booted a chip-shot field goal to trim the lead to 14-3 at the half. The Red Hawks took the opening kickoff of the second half, and marched the ball down the field, capping the drive with a Griffin touchdown run to make it 14-10 Fairview.

Hunter Zimmerman and his stable of running backs and wide receivers tried to make a charge of their own, but the Red Hawk defense and the Yellow Jackets’ own penalty troubles kept them from answering. Instead, Creek Wood took its first lead of the night off back to back fourth quarter plays from Quinton Poole to make it 17-14 CWHS.

Much like in week one, at home against Dickson County, the Red Hawks had to hold off a challenge in the final minutes with the lead. This time, however, the defense held, and forced a game tying field goal attempt. Freshman Jeff Perez attempted the 33 yarder, but pushed it left, and the Red Hawks took over at the 16 yard line with a minute and change left in regulation. Fairview used its time-outs wisely, but the clock was on Creek Wood’s side, and the Red Hawks were just barely able to run out the clock, and escape with the 17-14 win.

While Griffin made a nice recovery and Poole had a sensational second half, the MVP was punter Garrett Dolinich. In a game of field position, the former Charlotte Tiger showcased a golden toe, booming kicks over return-men’s heads all night. Without his ability to flip the field in the second half, the Red Hawks may have had a very different game on their hands.

The 1-1 Red Hawks continue their 3-game road trip Friday with a trek up Highway 48 to visit local rivals Montgomery Central. The game will be heard on 101.5 The One FM and WDKN 1260 AM, as the Red Hawks look to gain their first win in Region play this year.