The Future :: University @ Cypress Creek, Part II
September 16, 2009Cypress Creek High School
by Adam Soucie
In my Sentinel article, I wrote that Joseph Jones rushed for 89 yards. In my rush to submit the story (the game ended past my deadline), I missed a long run by Jones, attributing it to another player. Jones\' final rushing total was actually 109 yards. I sincerely apologize, Joseph. Either way, you were still the player of the game for the Bears for carrying them to the win.
Early season games are always sloppy. Teams are still finding their identities and still shaking off the rust from a long offseason. University\'s (1-1) visit to Cypress Creek (2-0) was no exception. With nine turnovers, 20 penalties, and two missed extra points, both teams struggled to find a rhythm. University looked to have the game locked up until Joseph "Popsicle" Jones opened the fourth quarter with a 40-yard scamper to give the Bears the lead. Despite a late Bears fumble, the Cougars were never able to recover. Cypress Creek came away victorious, 20-19.
Before the game began, Cypress Creek took the time to remember the 8th anniversary of 9/11. PA Announcer Kevin Baldinger gave a short speech marking the occasion and honoring two former students who died due to their roles in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The full text of his speech is at the bottom of this article.
The early action was dominated by the Cougars. Cypress Creek couldn\'t find an answer for RB Jordan Heeg and QB Riley Curtis\' runs up the middle. Had it not been for a Heeg fumble, University would have scored on their game-opening drive. A Cypress Creek fumble four plays later gave the Cougars the ball back with a short field. Two consecutive false starts and a broken option later, the Cougars seemed to stall. A 19-yard pass just inches out of the endzone put the Cougars back in business. Heeg wasted no time and pounded the ball in for the score on the next play.
A fumble on the ensuing kickoff game University another short field. Heeg broke a 25-yard run on the first play of the drive, but then University was stoned on successive rushing attempts. After an incomplete pass, the Cougars took a 10-0 on a 30-yard field goal by Luis Velasquez. Cypress Creek needed a spark, and that\'s exactly what they got.
A four yard loss on the first play of the resulting Cypress Creek drive seemed to signal that the Bears were in for a long night. Everything changed when Bears quarterback Felix Regis connected with a streaking Manasee St. Vil for a 74-yard touchdown strike. The touchdown brought life back to both the stadium and the game. The extra point was blocked, but that\'s to be expected when a team doesn\'t have a kicker. Cypress Creek\'s kicker just joined the team, but his paperwork was not submitted in time to make him eligible for the game.
The joy was short lived as University took the kickoff and began another drive. They had trouble getting started, thanks in part to yet another false start and a sack by Michel Khaalid. The Creek defense was able to force a punt, but another fumble on the return gave the Cougars the ball inside the 10 yard line. It only took Heeg one play to take it in for the score. Cypress Creek was able to return the favor and blocked the extra point for a 16-6 Cougar lead.
Cypress Creek fumbled again on the first play of the next drive, but was able to recover. The drive was unable to pick up any momentum, resulting in a punt. The Creek defense made consectutive stops on Heeg to force University into a 3rd and long. A bad pass resulted in yet another turnover, this time in Creek\'s favor, an interception by Issac Rodriguez. After a St. Vil reception and a Joseph Jones 23-yard run, Regis was able to take it himself for the score.
University looked to be driving again for a score after Heeg broke through the Bear line for gains of 26 and 9-yards. The turnover bug bit University again as Heeg fumbled for the second time, leading to a bizarre sequence of events. Cypress Creek took over the ball and proceeded to march down the field. Seven penalties were called in between five plays, resulting the ball being placed at the 3 yard line with only a few seconds remaining in the half. Because the Bears were without a kicker, they were forced to keep taking shots at the endzone and ended the half without another score.
The second half of the game began much the way the first half ended. Cypress Creek drove down the field and had the opportunities for a score, but ended up giving the ball away on downs. University was shut down on their series, but Cypress Creek fumbled the punt return once again, leading to another University field goal.
Cypress Creek responded immediately, largely due to the play of Joseph Jones. On just two plays, Jones gained 20 and 40 yards, the second play going for the game-winning touchdown. After a three-and-out by University, Cypress Creek ran out the clock. A late fumble by Daniel Schoonover nearly gave University a chance, but Curtis Riley threw another interception, allowing Creek to kneel out the game.
The win equaled Cypress Creek\'s win total from last season. University had already equaled their win total last week. In talking to Cypress Creek head coach David Jackson after the game, he said despite the penalties and turnovers, "...it was a good way to see how life works around. You\'re not going to always get everything going your way, but you keep fighting." Coach Jackson also said of the team\'s 2-0 start that he hopes "the kids realize that they can compete, they can be competitive."
Finally, here is PA Announcer Kevin Baldinger\'s pre-game speech in its entirety:
This is the eighth anniversary of one of the most tragic days in our lifetime. On September 11th, 2001, four jetliners were hijacked. Two of those planes were crashed into the twin towers in New York City. One of them was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. and the fourth plane had the passengers retake the plane only to crash into an open field in Shanksville, PA.
This unprovoked attack has affected the lives of every American all over the world, including right here at Cypress Creek High School.
Two of our former students, Gallo St. Vil and Randy Hanee, gave their lives to protect the freedom we all enjoy.
If you look on the field, you will see our salute to the New York policemen and firemen who were the first responders to that attack. You also see the number of lives lost because of their bravery.
At this time we would like for all active, retired, and family members of the Fire Department, Police Department, and Military to please stand. Please take a moment to acknowledge these heroes. Thank you for all you do for Cypress Creek, Orlando, and the United States