By Robert Bolanos
The Creswell Middle School Tigers opened their football season at home on Sept. 27, facing the Junction City Tigers. Creswell finished last season undefeated, and looks to build upon that success this season and into the future.
Adding to the excitement last Wednesday, the Tigers debuted their new green home jerseys, generously donated by the University of Oregon Football Program. The University of Oregon is a great supporter of local communities, programs and athletics and their donation was a great blessing to the Tigers, as they have been fundraising for new uniforms the last couple season.
Junction City scored quickly to open the game, putting the CMS Tigers on their heels. JC also stopped Creswell’s offense, winning the battle early at the line of scrimmage. Creswell’s offense struggled to find their rhythm in the first half of the game, with turnovers and punts ending each drive early, with only one first down.
The defense stiffened up to force a Junction City turnover as well as three punts in the first half. However, Junction City scored twice more, ending the half leading 14-0.
The Creswell Tigers came out flat the second half, failing to move the ball early and surrendering three more quick scores on big plays by the Junction City offense. Late in the third quarter, Creswell’s offense found some success moving the ball and the defense stopped the Junction City offense the remainder of the game, including a key interception by Traejon Roberts to set up Creswell’s only score of the game.
Chance Leach made five carries for 24 net yards. Conner Baggerly made six scrambles for one net yard. Baggerly also completed 4 of 11 passes for 31 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Traejon Roberts led all receivers with 12 total yards, and snagged one interception.
Adam Steele had nine yards receiving with 1 touchdown.
Juan Beltran led the defense with eight solo tackles. Jayden Pratt with had seven solo tackles.
Chance Leach and Treven Davis had seven assists each.
Seth Ehrich and Conner Hanson each had one sack.
Cornerback Cade Dimmick made a key tackle on fourth down to set up Creswell’s only score in the game.
We are a young team, with only a couple kids seeing any meaningful time as part of last season’s undefeated team. However, we see great potential and leadership in this group and this game definitely showed many positives to build on for the season.