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Buchholz dominates Creekside for the second time, advances in 7A playoffs

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By Cam Parker
Twitter – @camparker25

In a rematch of an October 30th matchup, Buchholz defeated Creekside 46-13 on Friday night at Citizen’s Field.

The Bobcats (7-1) dominated on all three sides of the ball, scoring touchdowns on offense, defense, and special teams.

From the first drive of the game, the Bobcat offense rolled behind star running back Quan Smith, who started the scoring off with a 36-yard reception on a screen pass from quarterback Creed Whittemore.

Smith would have three total touchdowns in the game: two receiving and one rushing.

Two plays later, the Bobcat defense would start their own domination after Damien Curtis intercepted a pass at the Creekside 36-yard line. From there, the Bobcat offense would quickly score on a Smith one-yard rush to put Buchholz up 12-0 with 7:24 left in the first quarter, eerily similar to the 21-0 lead Buchholz had when they previously met Creekside.

After forcing a three-and-out, Whittemore would find Smith for another 36-yard touchdown pass. This time, on a fourth and six, during which Whittemore bobbled the snap, picked up the ball, and delivered a strike down the middle of the field.

“We’re not satisfied until we get a ring,” said Smith, who was also named the Sonic Drive-In Player of the Game.

After this, the Bobcat special teams would also get in on the action, blocking a punt that rolled through the back of the endzone for a safety, which put them up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.

This domination would carry over to the second quarter for Buchholz, as they forced a fumble and recovered the ball at the three-yard line.  However, a penalty would move them back to the 22-yard line.

This did not stop the offense, though. After a fumbled snap and incomplete pass that set up a 3rd-and-26, Whittemore would have his third touchdown pass of the night. This time, he found Quan Lee for a 38-yard, leaping touchdown catch.

On the ensuing drive, back-to-back sacks by Gavin Hill and Matt Clayton would end the half with the Bobcats leading 28-0.

This first-half domination would continue into the second-half, as Buchholz safety Donny Hiebert intercepted a pass on the third play of the half. This set up a 36-yard field goal by Hunter Smith.

Three plays later, the Bobcat punt return team would block their second punt of the night. A block by Clayton would be caught by Jacarree Kelly and returned for the touchdown. From here, the Creekside offense, led by running back Preston Strope, would show some life with an 80-yard touchdown run by Strope to put them on the scoreboard.

However, the Bobcat defense would also find the endzone on Creekside’s next drive, after Jaterrye Curtis recovered a fumble in the endzone for a touchdown, making the score 44-7. Buchholz would convert the two-point conversion when kicker Hunter Smith picked up the fumbled snap and ran in for the 2-point conversion.

“Special teams wins,” said Buchholz coach Mark Whittemore.  “We knew we were going to have to play a clean special teams game.  We went above and beyond the call of duty. Our punter did really well, and the blocked punts go without saying. We’re where we need to be.”

The final score of the night would be from Creekside wide receiver Brandon Mcmillan, who caught a 65-yard pass from back-up quarterback Maxwell Robinson with 5:05 to play in the game.

Next week, Buchholz, which is now riding a 7-game win streak, travels to Navarre in the 7A-Region 1 quarterfinals, while Creekside finishes the season at 5-4.

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