Creswell’s Hanson makes defenders pay a price

RON HARTMAN/PHOTO CHRONICLEConnor Hanson (13) throws for a 2-point conversion against Harrisburg on Friday night.

CRESWELL — Connor Hanson has added a new wrinkle to his game: Instead of absorbing a bunch of licks as Creswell High School’s most prolific ball-carrier, he’s now dishing them out.

“He certainly doesn’t mind laying a lick on guys,” Creswell coach Scott Worsham said, reflecting on his team’s season-opening 40-0 victory over Harrisburg. “He doesn’t shy away from that contact, either — I think he enjoys it.” 

Hanson had a huge game, accounting for 410 yards and all six of his team’s touchdowns. He carried 18 times for 282 yards and 4 TDs, while connecting on 13 of 18 passes for 128 yards and two more scores. Conner Baggerly was his favorite target, hauling in five receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Creswell’s defense kept Harrisburg out of the red zone all night.

“We did a great job of not letting them get any big plays,” Worsham said. “It’s huge for our confidence to start the season with a shutout. Now we’ll see if it can carry over.”

Linebacker Juan Beltran posted a team-high 8 tackles while Cayden Cox contributed 7½ tackles, including 2 for loss. Cade Dimmick registered 4 tackles (1 for a loss), 1 sack, and a forced fumble. 

Because of Covid safety protocols and other reasons, Worsham said the Bulldogs “had 7 or 8 guys out, and at least four starters each way.”

“Everybody stepped up and played hard,” the coach said. “It’s so early in the season, we had some guys out of shape who stepped up and played well through the tiredness.”

The Bulldogs can’t afford to be tired, or sloppy, off their game in any way, shape or fashion on Friday as they visit Coquille, which dealt them a 62-7 beatdown last season as speedy running back Gunner Yates scored five touchdowns. He’s back for his senior season.

“We have to try to contain No. 22 and make their other guys beat us,” Worsham said. “If we play well and don’t shoot ourselves in the foot … just compete, compete, compete … we have a chance to beat these guys.” 



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