HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Cedar Park seeing redemption as district slate heats up

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Cedar Park's motto this season, according to head coach Carl Abseck, is "Take it back." After losing a district title last year, Abseck's club is playing with intensity and hunger for redemption through their district schedule.

Cedar Park travels to face longtime rival Georgetown in a District 11-5A, D II bout at Birkelbach Field on Friday, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

Cedar Park comes into the game with a 5-1 record and 2-0 district mark. Georgetown enters with a 3-2, 0-1 record after starting the season with three straight wins.

"We lost the district championship last year for the first time since 2011, and it's important to us," Abseck said. "It's a very big deal to us to win it, and to do that, you might have to win all of your games in district. It's tough from top to bottom."

The Timberwolves are coming off of a dominant win over Connally, handing them a 52-14 loss last week. Georgetown couldn't handle the powerful Hutto offense in their loss to the defending district champions last time out, falling 34-18.

The Timberwolves held off a late charge to beat Georgetown 27-24 at Gupton Stadium last season, their sixth straight win against the Eagles. In leading the all-time series between the two 10-2, Cedar Park has not lost to Georgetown since 2008.

Their "Black Rain" defense has allowed just 26 points over the last 12 quarters as part of a run of five straight Cedar Park wins. On offense, the T'Wolves are led by junior starting quarterback Ryder Hernandez, who has gone 82-for-131 with 1,074 yards and eight passing touchdowns this season.

Georgetown and first-year head coach Chuck Griffin boast a balanced offensive attack, led by mobile quarterback Darson Herman - who leads the club with 206 yards on 37 carries - and running back Ryan Eady.

"They like to throw a lot of quick screens, then some power runs and designed quarterback runs, so they're pretty versatile on offense," Abseck said. "On defense, they're just as dangerous. They're athletic enough to keep everything in front of them and they're strong enough to limit big plays."

After a northern front brought rain and high winds to the Austin area through the overnight hours of Thursday night and Friday morning, the forecast at game time calls for 15-20 mile-per-hour winds and brisk temperatures.

Cedar Park returns to Gupton Stadium next Friday for a match with major district implications when they host Hutto.

Abseck and the crew hope to come back to town with an unbeaten district record.

"To accomplish our goal of winning the district championship again, we feel like we'll have to win every game," he said. "So every next game for us is the biggest game of the season, and it's a mentality that has worked for us so far."

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