For a while, the Whitewater Wildcats gave Sandy Creek everything they could handle. In a matchup of top ten teams, the Patriots surged late in a 30-14 victory.
Whitewater’s defense was especially strong early as they held the high-powered Patriot offense to seven first half points. Star running back Eric Swinney was held in check then too.
After halftime it was another story as Swinney ran for 145 yards and two of his three touchdowns in the second half.
The Wildcats certainly didn’t play like a team afraid of the Patriots. In fact, they started the game hot. After the defense forced a three and out, Christian Wafford sliced through the heart of the Patriot defense for a 66 yard touchdown on their first drive for a 7-0 lead. Wafford had a strong night against the stingy Patriots with 141 yards rushing.
Sandy Creek responded. Trey Walker hit a pair of big passes, one a bomb to Tariq Muhammad and one a screen to Korey Banks that he took deep into Wildcat territory, setting up a two yard touchdown by Eric Swinney.
The 7-7 tie held throughout the first half as the defenses traded stops. Whitewater had a chance to grab a lead late in the half, but they saw a chip shot field goal sail wide left.
Sandy Creek’s offense, and especially Swinney, woke up after halftime. Facing a third and short, Swinney took care of it and then some. He appeared to be stopped short in the middle of the line, but he slipped around the edge and raced up the field for a 60 yard touchdown. The extra point would fail, but the Patriots had a lead they would not relinquish at 13-7.
The Patriots chewed up yardage on their next series before Swinney punched it in from 12 yards out for his third touchdown of the night.
Whitewater clawed back, stringing together a 70 yard scoring drive. Another big Wafford run turned the field for the Cats. Jay Ashley capped it off by scrambling for a 10 yard touchdown to narrow the deficit to 20-14.
Sandy Creek extended their lead early in the fourth quarter with a 34 yard Arnol Spaniol field goal.
Whitewater’s attempt to strike back came up short as they were able to drive deep, but a 42 yard field goal was off the mark.
The Patriots padded their lead late. Antonio Trapp’s interception set up Creek past midfield. After a scuffle was broken up, Sandy Creek’s offense took care of business. Austin Vazquez’s 17 yard run finished off the 30-14 victory.
Sandy Creek will take their 6-0 record on the road for a Thursday night contest against the Troup Tigers. Whitewater, now 4-2, hosts the Carrollton Trojans on Friday.