STORY BY DAVID CAMPBELL
BASTROP — A lightning delay halted the Rudder-Cedar Creek game with 11:07 left in the second quarter.
By that time, the Rangers had bolted into the end zone five times. The Rangers led 34-14 on their way to a 48-20 victory Thursday at Bastrop Memorial Stadium.
After the 35-minute delay, Rudder continued the electric show. On the first play back, Williams jolted the Eagles with a 29-yard scoring run.
“The offensive line did a great job,” Rudder coach Will Compton said. “[Williams] made a great cut because the offensive line was on everybody and everything just fell into place.”
It continued though most of the game. The runaway win ended Rudder’s 13-game losing streak and gave the Rangers (1-2) their highest-scoring output in two seasons, when they scored 63 in a win over Caney Creek. Rudder has an open date next week and will open 18-5A play September 26 with a homecoming game against Caney Creek. Cedar Creek (0-3) has lost 11 straight.
Rudder had to come from behind. Cedar Creek quarterback Connor Hamilton darted 50 yards on the game’s second play to give the Eagles a 6-0 edge, but the Rangers got an idea from that keeper. They kept the football most of the opening period.
Rudder took the lead when Brady Batten sped up the middle 61 yards for a score and Eric Hausman converted the kick for a 7-6 lead and the start of a 34-point quarter for Rudder.
“They scored on us and jumped on us fast but we bounced right back for a touchdown” Batten said. “[The touchdown run] got everybody going, I think and it got our momentum back. We weren’t even looking at the scoreboard but when we did it was like, that’s a lot of points in the first quarter. All of the hard work paid off.”
A J.T Wagner fumble recovery gave Rudder the ball back immediately, and Batten threw 37 yards to Eric Peterson to score. It was another 1:02 before the Rangers found the end zone again. Josh People covered a fumble at the 29, and Batten hit Jermaine Mills at the two to open the door for William Dates’ touchdown on a sweep to the right. Jamall Collins followed just over 2 minutes later with the first of his two opening-half scores to take a 27-7 lead.
“When Brady broke the long run, it sparked the offense,” Compton said. “We talked about that great energy is going to lead to positive plays and that brought a lot of energy to our game and the defense stepped up with a three-and-out and we rolled from there.”
After Cedar Creek’s 49-yard score by Chris Smith narrowed the lead to 27-14, Rudder had its most substantial drive of the half, moving 70 yards in six plays. Batten dropped a perfectly-thrown pass to Brian Williams on the right sideline. Williams hauled in the 41-yard pass over the shoulder despite good coverage by Cedar Creek’s Gabriel Felan. Batten cut in for the score with 2:16 left in the quarter and Federrian Lewis opened the second period with an interception for the Rangers.
With a 25-yard run in the fourth quarter, Chris Smith became the first Cedar Creek Eagle to rush for over 100 yards in the school’s history. Smith finished with 133 yards on 22 carries.
Batten rushed for a team-best 84 yards, but Dates added 64 and Collins had 53 on four carries. Batten completed 12 of 19 passes for 165 yards.
Courtesy of the B/CS Eagle