The Clear Creek Wildcats host the Dickinson Gators on Saturday afternoon in a game with major playoff implications in District 24-6A.
A win for either team this week would be a boon for that team’s playoff hopes, while a loss pushes that team closer to the edge of missing out on the postseason.
“It’s a big game for us. All of our games are going to be huge for us for the rest of the year,” Clear Creek head coach Darrell Warden said. “Our goal is to rebound from last week and do better on both sides of the ball. Last week, we didn’t perform well in any phases of the game, so we have to make sure that we play well in all phases.”
Clear Creek (3-3 overall, 2-2 in district) is coming off a tough 52-21 loss at district-leading Friendswood, where the Wildcats’ high-powered offense faltered and the defense couldn’t come away with key stops.
“Offensively, we had too many turnovers and we gave away scoring opportunities. On defense, we had opportunities to stop them and gave them good field position on special teams plays,” Warden said. “You can’t do that when you’re playing good teams like Friendswood, and if we do that against Dickinson, we won’t come out on top.”
Dickinson (4-2, 2-2) is coming off a 24-7 win over Alvin, but it wasn’t the Gators’ prettiest performance. Head coach John Snelson feels like the team will be need to be better on third-down plays, continue improved play from the offensive line, execute better on offense and keep up their strong play on defense to win Saturday’s contest.
“Defensively, we have to limit No. 2 from getting big-chunk plays on us; he’s definitely going to get his yards, but we have to limit those explosive plays,” Snelson said. “Offensively, we have to do a better job of taking care of the football. We had three turnovers last week, and struggled on first and third downs.”
“No. 2” refers to Clear Creek’s dangerous dual-threat quarterback Sam Mathews, who leads a solid Wildcats offense that also features multi-position athlete Xavier Leal and running back Alex Robles.
“Their offensive line is getting better every single week; the big sophomore tackle is a really good football player, and their quarterback is playing as good as anybody in the district,” Snelson said. “He’s very poised. He’s a tough runner and deceptively fast. Once he breaks that first level, he’s very hard to catch. He does a good job in the run-pass option game for them, as well — good decision maker. We’re going to have our hands full with him.”
For Dickinson’s offense, the Gators will want to get the ball in the hands of wide receiver Montel Parker (a Texas A&M commit) by any means possible, whether it’s catching passes or in the backfield. Workhorse running back Myles Lewis also will be a featured player on a Gators offense loaded with weapons.
“Dickinson is always tough,” Warden said. “They have great athletes. They play hard. They’re well-coached. They’re another tough team in this district. We’re going to have to come out and be ready.”
Kickoff for the pivotal District 24-6A contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.