CEDAR PARK-- Cedar Park continued its torment of district rival Georgetown on Friday, beating the Eagles by a single possession for the third time in the past five years.
The Timberwolves needed clutch throws from sophomore quarterback Ryder Hernandez to scratch out a 27-24 win at Gupton Stadium that at times felt like a tug-of-war. Tied at 17 in the third quarter, a series of defensive plays on both sides shifted momentum back and forth.
“The game’s not going to go your way all the time,” Cedar Park coach Carl Abseck said. “If you give up a big play on defense, it’s next play. If you make a bad play, same thing. That’s what we preach.”
The Timberwolves (5-2 overall, 3-0 District 11-5A Division I) have now won five straight games after an 0-2 start.
Georgetown (3-3, 0-2) trailed 17-3 late in the second quarter but stormed back behind the play of quarterback Jackson Sioson. After leading a last-minute drive before halftime, Sioson began the third quarter by breaking four tackles on his way to a 67-yard, game-tying run.
From there, things got crazy.
On four-straight possessions, Cedar Park linebacker Sam Muir made an interception, Georgetown defensive back Taco Williams ripped a sure touchdown out of a receiver’s hands, safety Tammer Alzer made a diving interception for the Timberwolves, and Taylor Behl picked off a Hernandez pass that was tipped at least 20 feet in the air.
Justin Bohrer broke the scoring drought with a 24-yard field goal, and on the Timberwolves’ next possession Hernandez converted a pair of third downs before finding Carson Neel for a 5-yard touchdown with less than six minutes left.
He also converted a fourth down to ice the game after Georgetown cut the lead back to three.
“I was just trusting my receivers out there,” Hernandez said. “We’ve been connecting really well the past couple weeks, and I was just like, ‘Hey, let them go make a play.’”
In the first quarter, he hit a wide-open Brandon Breed for a 56-yard score.
“We blew pass coverages,” said a visibly frustrated Georgetown coach Jason Dean. “We’ve had several of these (close games) the past few years against Cedar Park and continue to come up on the short end of it. Our kids will battle to the bitter end to win, but we weren’t able to get it done tonight.”
The Cedar Park win sets up a likely district title decider against undefeated Hutto next week.
“We’re ready,” Hernandez said. “Tonight was a big test, too, and we came out and showed everybody what we can do.”