Wildcat football ends successful season in playoff loss

Emily Berthiaume, Editor-in-Chief

The Clear Creek varsity football team ended a record-breaking season of eleven straight victories with a heartbreaking loss to Manvel on November 20 in the second round of the Class 6A Division 2 playoffs. The high scoring game consisted of a back and forth of 18 total touchdowns, and ended with a final score of 70-56.

Senior quarterback Chase Hildreth had “perhaps the best game of his career” according to the Houston Chronicle, passing for 571 yards and six touchdowns, as well as catching a touchdown from Landon Etzel.

“It was definitely my best game,” Hildreth said. “The homecoming game last year stands out as well, but I think the Manvel game was my best because of how many passing yards I had.”

In fact, Hildreth’s 571 yards are the seventh most passing yards by a quarterback in one game in Texas high school football history, according to Hildreth.

Brandon Hower, Andy Wiesen, Da’Von Smith, Landon Etzel, and Jaiden Woodson also contributed touchdowns. Etzel had eleven catches for 131 yards and two scores, Wiesen had three catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and Smith rushed 17 times for one touchdown.  Hower and Smith also went over 100 yards receiving, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Despite an impressive show from the Creek offense, amassing 595 total yards, the Wildcats never lead. Manvel scored early and maintained their lead, never letting Creek come closer than seven points behind. Creek only trailed 28-21 at halftime, but Manvel’s impressively powerful offense could not be stopped, responding to every one of Creek’s scores.

“Manvel has five Division One commits and three Division Two commits on defense and we put up 56 points against them,” Wiesen said. “I’m proud of what we did.”

Manvel defeated Strake Jesuit 75-14 in the next round; however, they fell to Katy in the Region III final 35-17. In the regular season, Manvel only lost to Spring Westfield and Pearland.

This football season was one of the most successful in years for Creek. The Wildcats were 10-0 going into the playoffs, including a victory over high-ranking Dickinson. They easily defeated Fort Bend Travis 63-10 in the first round of the playoffs, and eagerly looked towards a tough Manvel team.

“We did a good job coming out focused last week, and we stayed that way start to finish,” Creek head coach Darrell Warden said to the Bay Area Citizen about the FB Travis win before the Manvel game. “That was good to see.”

The Wildcat football team had never been 11-0 before, and the Manvel game was only the fourth playoff game in Creek history, making this a milestone season.

While senior players are sad the season is over, they are proud of what they accomplished this year and are looking towards the future.

“It’s sad that’s it’s over, but we played well,” said linebacker Nik Daniels. “I hope to play in college, but I’m not sure yet where yet.”

“The end of the season was sad and emotional but greater things are too come,” said Wiesen. “Football was a big part of my high school career. I won’t remember my 10th grade English class but I will remember scoring touchdowns.”

“I have no regrets,” Hildreth said to the Houston Chronicle. “I feel pretty good about my career at Creek.”