By Travis Chapman
Apaches Gritty Performance Ends Cedar Creek’s Streak
In a thrilling showdown, the Apaches’ 3rd and 4th-grade captains—Everett Tucker, Warren Johnson, Marshall Duck, and Christian Lamoine—led their team to a stunning victory against the multi-year undefeated, and rival, Cedar Creek Cougars. The Apaches relentless offense and unyielding defense showcased their determination to secure an 8-6 win.
The game kicked off with a bang as Hank Rowton’s powerful 11-yard run set the tone. Ryder Hollingsworth’s precision pass to Warren Johnson gained 25 yards, and a reverse to Marshall Duck added another 20, marching the Apaches offense down the field and putting them in a prime position. Hank Rowton’s counter run from the 1-yard line led to the first touchdown, with Rowton bulldozing his way to glory behind the gaping hole left from Everett Tucker and Skyler Malones second level blocking of the Cougar linebackers. The Apaches surged ahead 8-0.
On defense, the Apaches proved equally formidable. Duck’s crucial tackle on 3rd and long forced a pivotal 4th down. With 3:35 remaining in the first quarter, the Apaches took over at the Creek 33. Despite their best efforts, the Apaches couldn’t convert, and Cedar Creek regained possession. However, the Apaches’ defense held strong, with Hank Rowton delivering a critical tackle for a loss on 3rd and long.
On fourth and long, the Cougar RB broke an outreached Apache tackle and galloped down the field 60-yards for a touchdown but couldn’t convert the 2-point conversion. The Apaches retained their narrow lead at 8-6.
The second quarter was a showcase of both teams’ determination, but the score remained unchanged. Hollingsworth’s deep pass fell just out of reach, leaving the Apaches with an 8-6 lead at the half.
The third quarter was marked by stellar defensive plays from both teams. The Apaches’ tenacity led to a crucial turnover on downs, while Creek’s defense held strong against the Apaches’ efforts.
As the game entered its final stages, the Apaches offense executed brilliantly. Ryder’s clutch passes and Hank’s determined runs paved the way for a triumphant drive. With a fourth and short upcoming and just 37 seconds remaining, a pass from Ryder Hollingsworth to Marshall Duck for 9 yards secured the first down, sealing the Apaches victory while threatening another score from the Cougar 4-yard line at the end of regulation.
In the “5th quarter”, the 2nd and 3rd-grade Apaches showed great promise on defense and moved the ball well with great 15 yard runs by both Skyler Malone and Miles McCollough, against the 3rd grade Cougars who are known for their strong defense. They fought hard and received some great game time experience. The future is very bright for our 2nd and 3rd grade class.
Folks, if you did not have the pleasure of being in the stands for this match-up, you missed one of the hardest fought, gutted out wins there have been to date ending the scoreless and undefeated streak of the Cougars as they ran into a full Tribe of Apaches set on a war path. This Cougar team has been a perennial powerhouse in this league for several years and has managed an extremely tough and very well coached defense that has not allowed a single score since the 2022 season. With the 5th and 6th grade Apaches hard work in practice and a chip on their shoulder from a season ago, you could smell the dog fight in the air that was about to ensue.
The Apaches started the night on defense against a very well-run triple option threat. The defense made several big tackles in the series. Despite a strong effort, the Cougars managed a 55-yard TD run from one of the biggest and fastest 6th graders in the state of Louisiana, taking the lead, 7-0 in favor of the Cougars.
The Apaches offense trotted out to the field donning the Wildcat formation behind star running back and linebacker, Max Scroggs. The Apaches saw good success moving the ball down the field in small bites and for a moment showed a steam roll of progress as Mason Burns ran for 15 yards moving the chains for a new set of downs. Later in the series the Apaches ran a reverse around the end that would’ve led to an Apache touchdown, but the exchange was fumbled and recovered by the Apaches. The giant defensive front of the Cougars was having no more of it and forced an Apache punt that brought the end of the first quarter with Apaches trailing 7-0.
The ensuing defensive stand to start the second quarter for the Apaches proved to be fortuitous with a forced fumble recovered by the Apaches on the Cougar 50-yard line. The winds of momentum started shifting with the Tribe as the offense moved the ball methodically with great blocking that sprung Max Scroggs for a long run on 3rd down seemingly giving the Apaches a new set of downs, but a questionable spot of the ball brought up 4th down and short. The Cougars defensive front pinned their ears back as the giant #77 DT blew up the offensive play and made a stop well behind the line of scrimmage forcing a turnover on downs with just 1:48 left in the first half. The Apaches defense showed up and showed out yet again with pass break-ups. Brant Bridges, Rylan Rainey, Jackson Lea, Braxton Taylor, Hayes Hanson, and CT Harris all made tackles, but Mason Burns, in showing his athleticism, maked a great move on the ball and intercepted the Cougars QB closing out the 1st half with a score of 7-0 in favor of the Cougars.
In the second half, the Apaches displayed remarkable resilience and played like someone hit their mothers with a 2×4, and they were coming for retribution. The Wildcat, Max Scroggs led the offense down the field with the endzone in sight, but the well-coached Cougar defense stepped in front and intercepted a pass. The Apache defense was not to be outdone moving the cougars backwards and forced a punt. The offensive momentum started wearing on the Cougars defense and the Apaches RB reeled off a beautifully blocked run for 31 yards with the RB giving a textbook Heismen Trophy stiff arm, but let’s just call it- “a highly questionable penalty” of facemask from the RB seemed to stifle the Apaches roaring drive. But folks, this is where the Tribe Pride of Apaches banded together, dug in and fought with every inch they had. The very next defensive series, Hayes Glasscock and Hayes Hanson forced a fumble deep in our back yard with a swarm of Apaches on the recovery setting the offense on the war path with just 2:37 left in the contest. The Apaches smelled blood on the field of battle. With a hint of victory on their tongues, three plays later, Max Scroggs finds Mason Burns behind the defense and uncorks a spectacular 74-yard pitch-and-catch that turned the tide pulling the War Party within one. The Apaches took the lead 8-7 with a perfectly executed 2-pt conversion dialed up by Coach Rowton with only 1:42 remaining in the slugfest.
Coach Smith dialed in the Apaches defense that held steadfast, denying the Cougars last effort to score. Huge tackles made by “Big G”- Grayson Avery and Ace Rolen setup Warren Johnson’s crucial pass breakup on 4th down to secure the ever-so coveted “victory formation” in an 8-7 win, capping off an unforgettable performance by the Apaches. They look to extend the winning streak for both teams as they defend The Brook next Tuesday the 19th at the end of Country Club Circle at 6pm.
The Apaches had a multitude of fans with the dazzling cheerleaders show up and get loud for their Tribe on Tuesday night. The cheerleaders stayed loud, and the fans kept cheering the entire game and it made all the difference in the team’s performances! Our culture breeds pride and the family mentality, what we call a Tribe, if you will. I’ll leave you with what I’m sure many of you could hear from the 50 yard line of Cedar Creek all the way back in Minden that team captain, Max Scroggs rallied up from his tribe……..
FAMILY ON ME, FAMILY ON THREE!!! ONE-TWO-THREE FAMILY!!!!!!!
IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE AN APACHE!