Cedar Creek knew upsetting No. 1-seed Vermilion Catholic wouldn’t be an easy task.
They knew VC was equipped with arguably the best offense in the state.
They were fully aware of how dominant VC’s defense had been all season.
But what the Cougars didn’t expect was to be forced to win without starting quarterback Mark Van, but that’s exactly the situation they found themselves in after he was knocked out of the game early in the second quarter.
That proved to be a devastating blow to the Cougars’ chances of advancing to the dome as they went on to be defeated 33-8 by the Screamin’ Eagles in the Division IV semifinals Friday in Abbeville.
“It was a hard fought game for us,” Cougars head coach Ben Haddox said. “To lose our quarterback in the (second quarter) was a tough thing for us. We’re talking about losing a guy responsible for more than 2,800 yards of our offense this season. So, yes definitely losing him hurt us. We can’t afford to lose that much offense.”
Without Van, who according to Haddox suffered a dislocated thumb that will require surgery today, the Cougars’ offense struggled in both the running (112 yards) and passing (25 yards) games as they finished the game with 137 yards of total offense.
“I felt like our kids responded well once we lost our quarterback,” Haddox said. “We were trying to play keep away from their offense. But we must tip our hats to VC. They are a great team and (Friday) they were just too much for us.”