PFLUGERVILLE — Explosive if not perfect, Cedar Park cruised past Connally 48-12 on Friday at The Pfield.
The Timberwolves (4-2 overall, 2-0 District 11-5A, Division I) fed off long passes to wide receivers Brandon Breed and Carson Neel, and their defense suffocated the Cougars (1-5, 0-2) for long stretches.
Sprinkled in with those explosive plays, however, were some breakdowns for the Cedar Park offense.
“We came out firing, we just did a poor job of maintaining a good rhythm,” Timberwolves coach Carl Abseck said. “That’s just a sign of maturity and consistency, two areas we’ve been preaching.
“When we become really consistent, we’re going to be tough to stop.”
After giving up 167 points in back-to-back losses to Liberty Hill and Hutto, the Connally defense looked much improved. The Cougars forced a three-and-out on the game’s first drive, and held Cedar Park to two first downs in the second quarter.
A turnover on downs during that stretch led to a 17-yard touchdown run by Demetris Gardner, cutting the Timberwolves’ lead to 21-6 at halftime.
“We played a lot better. We got back to some basics and got some guys healthy,” Connally coach Jason Cecil said. “We made improvements but still put ourselves in bad situations with mistakes on special teams.”
Cedar Park quarterback Ryder Hernandez found Carson Neel and Brandon Breed for long scores in the first half, but missed on eight of his last 10 throws before the break. He completed 13-of-27 pass attempts for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
Those scoring strikes were all long passes thrown on target. The first went for 29 yards to Neel. Breed hauled in touchdowns from 27 and 52 yards on his way to 173 yards on just five catches.
The Timberwolves have now won four games in a row following an 0-2 start. They know the next two games, against Georgetown and Hutto, could decide the district title.
“The bottom line is you’ve got to win them all if you want to be the district champion,” Abseck said. “That’s what our kids set as their goal, that’s what our goal is every year.”