KINGSTON SPRINGS – Harpeth hosted Creek Wood on Friday night, and the Red Hawks defeated Harpeth 37-7.
Harpeth fell to 1-3 on the season, while Creek Wood (4-0) stayed undefeated.
Harpeth took the ball on the first possession of the game and used a fake reverse jet sweep to allow Luke Gossett to find open field and grab a big chunk of yardage. But the drive later stalled after that initial first down.
Unfortunately for the Indians, that turned out to be a precursor for how the night would go.
Creek Wood took over after a punt return by Will Secker put the Red Hawks close to midfield. Secker gave Creek Wood a huge advantage all evening in the punt return game. He set up the Red Hawks with favorable field position several times.
Creek Wood took its first possession into the red zone and all the way to the goal line, but a courageous effort from the Harpeth defense stopped Creek Wood from scoring. The Red Hawks elected to go for the touchdown on fourth down, but the Indians held them there and took over at their own one.
On the second play of Harpeth’s ensuing drive, Luke Gossett was tackled in the endzone for a safety. That gave Creek Wood a 2-0 lead, which they didn’t surrender for the rest of the evening.
Elijah Donaldson then found Mitch Duke for a touchdown pass to give Creek Wood a 9-0 lead. After the first Creek Wood touchdown, the Indians responded with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Luke Gossett.
“That’s something as a special teams unit is to not give up any touchdowns, and (Harpeth) got one,” Creek Wood coach Houston Thiel said. “(Gossett) is their best athlete on the field, and we feel really confident with our kicker. I think it’s something that we can go back and show on tape and say, ‘Here’s what happens when we don’t do our job.’”
After that Harpeth score, the Indians couldn’t find the end zone for the rest of the evening. Creek Wood came back and answered with Donaldson’s second passing touchdown of the evening, finding Will Secker for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Duke got Creek Wood’s next score on a toss play to the left. He followed tackle Stone Collins into the end zone to make it 23-7.
Creek Wood scored right before the half after a long punt from Luke Gossett put Creek Wood at their own one-yard line. But Danny Stansberry found a crease on the opening play of the drive and took off for a 99-yard rushing touchdown. After getting through the line, Stansberry went the rest of the distance untouched.
Creek Wood took that 30-7 lead into half and only scored one more time. Michael Harris scored on Creek Wood’s opening drive in the second half on toss play similar to Duke’s touchdown. The score held at 37-7 the rest of the way.
“They fought hard, and I respect them for that,” Harpeth coach Doug Loope said. “We had glimpses where we did well, but we had periods where everything didn’t go so well, and I’m always looking for execution. We can compete as long as we put ourselves in position and prepare.”
Harpeth will travel to Stewart County Friday, and Creek Wood will travel to Montgomery Central. Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m.
“We made some mistakes tonight, but our guys know that, and they know that we can work on those things,” Thiel said. “We have to get better because when we get into region play, we’re going to face teams that will take advantage of our mistakes.”