Elgin (3-6, 3-4) @ Cedar Park (9-0, 7-0), Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Cedar Park, the second ranked team in 5A, dispatched Hutto (6-3, 4-3), 44-14, to move within one game of securing its second consecutive undefeated regular season. The Hippos entered as winners of four straight and were tied with the defending 5A Division II state champions at 14 in the second quarter. The T’wolves scored the final 30 points of the game, however, behind 222 passing yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Mak Sexton. The Hippos had just 170 yards of offense.
Elgin blew a 27-7 lead and eventually lost to Rouse, 37-34, on a Jacob Zepeda field goal with less than a minute remaining in the game. Wildcat quarterback DeAmante Strong threw for 184 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 76 more and another score, but it wasn’t enough to stave off the Raiders, who outscored Elgin 30-7 down the stretch.
A brief respite?
With a trip to the postseason already in the bag, it will be interesting to see how Cedar Park head coach Carl Abseck utilizes his starters. With nothing much to gain, it wouldn’t be farfetched for Abseck to keep the majority of his starters sidelined for the entire game. If he does pencil them into the starting line-up, the question then becomes how big of a lead will the Timberwolves have to amass before players such as Sexton and Tyler Lavine are given a pat on the back and ushered off the field?
The Power of Strong
As is the case most weeks, Elgin’s chances will rely on dual-threat quarterback DeAmonte Strong. Strong has thrown for 1,757 yards, run for another 396 yards and accounted for 18 total touchdowns. It will take a monumental effort and numerous lucky breaks for Elgin to stay competitive with the Timberwolves. It all starts with Strong’s ability to create chances and take care of the football.
Cedar Park and Elgin have not met in recent UIL history.
Cedar Park will enter into the 5A playoffs as heavy favorites to capture a second straight state title.
Elgin needs a win and several other helpful outcomes to keep its already slim playoff hopes alive. A loss will effectively eliminate the Wildcats.