Creek Wood’s Andre Darden looks for open space
Photo: Marty Allison/DicksonSportsMedia
By Casey Patrick
KINGSTON SPRINGS, TN – Harpeth hosted Creek Wood on Friday night as the Red Hawks defeated Harpeth 37-7, moving the Indians to 1-3 on the season while Creek Wood keeps its undefeated record and goes to 4-0.
Harpeth took the ball on the first possession of the game and designed a really nice fake reverse jet sweep allowing Luke Gossett to find open field and grab a nice chunk of yardage on the first play from scrimmage, but the drive stalled out after the initial first down. Unfortunately for the Indians, that would be a precursor for how the night would go.
Creek Wood took over after a punt return by Will Secker put the Red Hawks close to midfield. Secker gave Creek Wood a huge advantage all evening in the punt return game, as he set up the Red Hawks with favorable field position many different times.
Creek Wood would take their first possession all the way down into the red zone, all the way to the goal line, but a courageous effort from the Harpeth defense stood up Creek Wood there at the one yard line. The Red Hawks elected to go for the touchdown on fourth down, but the Indians held them there and took over at their own one.
On the second play from scrimmage during that drive for Harpeth, Luke Gossett was caught in the end zone for a safety and Creek Wood took the early 2-0 advantage, an advantage that they wouldn’t give up for the rest of the evening.
Elijah Donaldson found Mitch Duke on the second play from scrimmage to give Creek Wood the 9-0 lead. It would be one of two passing touchdowns on the night for Donaldson. After the first Creek Wood touchdown, the Indians responded with a quick 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Luke Gossett.
“That’s something as a special teams unit is to not give up any touchdowns and they (Harpeth) got one,” Creek Wood coach Houston Thiel said. “He (Gossett) is their best athlete on the field and we feel really confident with our kicker and he got it back there on the one yard line and we crossed alleys and left a lane open and the kid hit it and took it the distance.
“I think it’s something that we can go back and show on tape and say here’s what happens when we don’t do our job.”
After that Harpeth score, the Indians couldn’t find the end zone for the rest of the evening. Creek Wood came back and answered quickly with Donaldson’s second passing touchdown of the evening as he found Will Secker for a 12 yard touchdown pass.
Mitch Duke would get the next score for Creek Wood as he took a toss play to the left and followed big left tackle Stone Collins into the end zone to take a 23-7 lead.
Creek Wood would score again though, right before half, as a punt from Luke Gossett put Creek Wood at their own one yard line put them in tough shape, but Danny Stansberry found a crease on the opening play of the drive and took off for a 99 yard rushing touchdown. After getting through the line, Stansberry went the rest of the distance untouched as he glided past Harpeth defenders and kept a safe distance as he sprinted across the goal line.
Creek Wood took that 30-7 lead into half and would only score one more time for the rest of the game. Michael Harris scored on Creek Wood’s opening drive in the second half as he, much like Mitch Duke, took a toss play to the left and reached the pylon. That score got the game to 37-7 which ended up being the final score.
“They fought hard and I respect them for that,” Harpeth coach Doug Loope said. “We had glimpses where we did well, but we had periods where everything didn’t go so well and I’m always looking for execution. We can compete as long as we put ourselves in position and prepare.”
Harpeth will travel to Stewart County next week to take on the Rebels as Creek Wood will travel to Montgomery Central. Both of those games will take place next Friday.
“We made some mistakes tonight, but our guys know that, and they know that we can work on those things and we have to get better because when we get into region play we’re going to face teams that will take advantage of our mistakes,” Thiel stated.
“But we had some times out here tonight where we looked really, really good.”