Wolves on a Roll Heading Into Colossal Third-Round


Katelyn Gaus

The Black Rain pours down on Elgin at Gupton Stadium on Friday, Nov. 4.

Nick Hedges, Reporter

While the sun sets on high school football in Texas, Cedar Park is starting to pick up momentum and really get going, just when it matters most. The Timberwolves closed out the regular season with district-clinching wins over Hutto and Elgin, before moving on to the 5A Division I playoffs, winning the first two rounds of games against Willis and Bryan. The team picks up steam heading into a blockbuster third-round matchup against fellow undefeated Manvel.

Cedar Park’s last big on paper test of the regular season came via a visit to Hutto Stadium to play the Hippos. Many thought big playmakers like running back Dearyon Milligan and defensive end Ondario Robinson would push the Wolves to the edge, but CP stood tall. The Black Rain held Milligan to his lowest rushing total of the season, and, despite two tip-drill touchdowns by the Hippos, Cedar Park pushed through to dominate Hutto in a 44-14 victory.

“It was the game changer,” senior nose tackle Nathan Sloey said. “We had game planned for [Milligan and Robinson] all week knowing once we neutralized them in the game we would have victory.”

Senior night for Cedar Park came next, along with a visit from Elgin. The Wildcats, who had an up-and-down season, looked to end their season by downing the top team in the state, but the Wolves had none of it. Cedar Park ran for 347 yards on Elgin’s defense, scoring seven touchdowns on the ground, and the Black Rain dominated all night long, holding Elgin to negative rushing yards, en-route to a 55-0 shutout win.

After Elgin, the Wolves moved into the playoffs, opening with a trek to face Willis. The Wildkats, who ended a long postseason drought, were given a stiff opponent in their return to the playoffs, and they were in for a rude awakening. Cedar Park ran for 361 yards in the game. Senior back Tyler Lavine ran for 223 of those yards and scored four touchdowns, out-gaining and outscoring Willis as a whole. The Wolves went home happy with a 49-14 success.

The second round came a little closer to home, as the Wolves faced Bryan at UMHB’s Crusader Stadium in Belton. The Vikings, who were said to have fielded their best team in years, found their season cut short by another solid Cedar Park performance. The Vikings fought hard for the majority of the game, but Cedar Park was simply too much. The Timberwolves again ran for over 300 yards, led by Lavine, to push them to a hard-fought 42-20 win.

“Once we impose our will early on teams they give in,” Lavine said. “But with that, we have to play hard the whole game in order to not let teams back in the game.”

The recent win over Bryan sets up a dream match-up for Texas High School football fans: a third-round top five matchup between two undefeateds. Cedar Park will play the Manvel Mavericks this Saturday, Nov. 26, at 2:00 p.m., at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field.

“The preparation doesn’t change much because we have known all year that we won’t play a team that we aren’t capable of beating,” senior kicker Storm Jensen said. “At the same time, we haven’t played a team that wasn’t capable of beating us. The same goes for Manvel. If we play the way we can play, we will win.”

The game features the current number two and three teams in the state, and will leave one team undefeated no longer.