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Hill earns first Cedar Creek win as Eagles stuff Connally in district opener

Jim Irish
American-Statesman Correspondent
Cedar Creek's Davin Winston, right, tries to get around Connally's Aden Ramirez in Friday's District 13-5A DII game at Memorial Stadium in Cedar Creek. Cedar Creek picked up its first win of the season, 20-13.

BASTROP — Cedar Creek’s defense stopped Connally three times in the red zone to earn a 20-13 victory in a District 13-5A Division II opener at Memorial Stadium on Friday.

The victory was Cedar Creek coach Bryan Hill’s first as a head coach after eight seasons as an assistant.

“Anytime you can win a district ballgame, it’s big,” Hill said. “Now, it starts counting for real.”

The Eagles (1-2, 1-0 District 13-5A Division II) scored first on a 64-yard burst by Dominic Mojica on the second play of the game.

On their second possession, the Cougars (0-3, 0-1) drove to the Cedar Creek 4-yard line. But starting quarterback Easton Babola fumbled.

In the second quarter, the Cougars were at the Cedar Creek 13, but quarterback Justin Santos threw three consecutive incompletions to turn it over.

Meanwhile, Cedar Creek quarterback Brock McLaughlin called his number twice, sprinting 32 yards on the first and 34 on the second for a touchdown to go up 13-0 at the 5:12 mark in the second quarter.

The Cougars unleashed Demetrius Gardner in the second half. He scored on runs of 20 and 78 yards, diving into the end zone on the second. Gardner, a senior, finished with 202 yards on 23 carries.

“We probably should have gave him the ball more in the first half,” Connally coach Jason Cecil said. “They were stopping us inside. We should have worked the edge more.”

Cedar Creek running back Davin Winston stepped up in the second half, scoring on a 7-yard run in the third quarter. All of Winston’s 61 yards came in the second half.

The Cedar Creek defense was in a denial mode again in the fourth quarter. Eagle substitute quarterback Bryan Allen came in after McLaughlin was shaken up. On his only play, Allen threw an interception to McAnthony Everest.

The Cougars moved to the Cedar Creek 14 and appeared to score the tying touchdown, but the play was nullified by a penalty. Cedar Creek’s Jose Hernandez then intercepted Santos.

Damian Perez had an interception for Cedar Creek earlier in the game.

“The defense did an incredible job,” Hill said. “They gave us a lot of opportunities to score, some of which we took advantage of and some we didn’t. They continued to battle the whole night. Everytime, we bogged down on offense, they got us the ball back. They constantly put pressure on the quarterback.”

Mojica was the leading rusher for Cedar Creek with 82 yards, while McLaughlin earned 59 yards.

“Brock is an extremely competitive person,” Hill said about McLaughlin’s willingness to absorb a hit.

Cedar Creek wide receiver Aidan Prinz did not play because of an injury, Hill said.