By Bo Kennedy
WHITE HOUSE, TN – Creek Wood defeated White House 35-28 on Friday night in a Region 5-4A battle. Logan York’s late interception return for a touchdown from his inside linebacker position would prove to be just enough, as the Red Hawks move to 7-1 on the season, with a 3-1 record in region play.
The White House Blue Devils implemented a heavy rushing attack centered around sophomore running back Ranen Blackburn. The front seven of Creek Wood, led by York and senior linebacker Jair Rubio, did a superb job of stopping the run in the first half. Coach Houston Thiel values three-and-outs, and the Red Hawks forced one on White House’s opening series.
Following the White House punt, the Creek Wood offense would pick up where it left off two weeks ago, putting points on the bard.
Mitch Duke often lines up in the tailback spot, while star running back Danny Stansberry slots into a fullback role. This formation has been one of Creek Wood’s most successful over the course of the season, and it led to a two yard rushing touchdown from Duke early in the first quarter. Offensive lineman Stone Collins was one of the key blockers on this first touchdown. Gerardo Velasco would bang home the extra point, which he would do following every one of Creek Wood’s five touchdowns on the night.
The rest of the first quarter would fly by without much of note happening. Early in the second quarter, the Blue Devils answered with a 13-yard rushing touchdown from Logan Neufeld. The 7-7 tie was short lived, as Will Secker took a carry 24 yards to paydirt. Secker was spun around several times inside the five on his way to six points.
Before the end of the first half, White House broke out their wildcat package to best utilize the running abilities of their sophomore running back, but the score remained 14-7 as the game hit halftime.
Creek Wood quarterback Elijah Donaldson showcased his legs on the opening drive of the second half, but it was Danny Stansberry who would get the touchdown from five yards out. With a 21-7 lead, Creek Wood would not take much more time off the clock before Donaldson would hit Will Secker for a 32-yard touchdown strike. With the score sitting at 28-7, the Red Hawks were feeling good.
With under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Blackburn punched it in from 5 yards out for White House to make it 28-14.
Following a Creek Wood punt, Caleb Anderson of White House made a critical mistake, throwing the ball directly into the arms of Logan York, who has started in the place of the injured Drake Griffin. York turned on the burners, taking the ball 76 yards to extend the Creek Wood lead to 35-14.
Photo: Marty Allison/DicksonSportsMedia
After the game, Coach Thiel called York “a really hard worker” who has “risen to the occasion.”
Later in the fourth quarter, Blackburn would score his second five yard rushing touchdown of the day to bring the Blue Devils within a score. On the ensuing kickoff, White House attempted the onside kick and converted, being the second time this season Creek Wood has seen an opposing team convert a late onside kick.
After both teams turned possession over on downs, White House would find success through the air, with quarterback Caleb Anderson finding Logan Neufeld in the endzone. Creek Wood would go on to recover the ensuing onside kick attempt and run the clock down to triple zeroes.
Coach Houston Thiel had high praise for Coach Hamilton on the White House side following the game. He said, “There were times when White House could have laid down, but they didn’t. His team fought hard.”
Creek Wood travels to Portland next week, where Coach Houston Thiel will look to get his electric offense and stout defense rolling toward another region victory.