Thrilling finishes are becoming a commonplace occurrence for the Creswell High football team. 

Two weeks ago, the Bulldogs won in overtime. This past Friday night, they were driving for the potential game-winning score but came up short, as host Oakland escaped with a 26-20 victory.

“We battled all the way and gave a good Oakland team all it could handle,” Creswell coach Scott Worsham said. “We drove down the field in the final two minutes and got down around the 20, but they batted down a pass on fourth down.”

Along with the exciting finish, Friday’s game had an electrifying start as well. Oakland took the opening kickoff and quickly went down the field to take a 6-0 lead. Then on Creswell’s first play from scrimmage, sophomore quarterback Connor Hanson kept the ball on a read-option and scooted 60 yards for a touchdown, and the Bulldogs took a 7-6 lead. 

Hanson also tossed two TD passes. When he connected with Logan Gordon on a 38-yard score, it put Creswell on top 14-12; then his 14-yarder to Jaydon Warthen with 7:13 left in the game tied it 20-20. 

Tyler Nicol had a big night on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs. He had 7 catches and now has a team-high 20 receptions for 187 yards. From his defensive end position, the fourth-year senior had 5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles.

Sophomore linebacker Juan Beltran also had a night to remember against Oakland with 15½ tackles and a sack. 

“Juan was all over the place. He had an amazing game,” said Worsham, noting that Beltran had bettered Caleb Wilson’s mark of 15 tackles last year (which he totaled twice).

Gordon, along with his touchdown catch, also notched the first interception of the year for Creswell (2-2), which returns home Friday, April 2 to take on Lowell.

“It’s encouraging to see how far we’ve come as a team,” Worsham said. “I hope we can keep it going against Lowell, which just beat Central Linn 39-0. I think they’re 2-2 also. It should be a good matchup.”