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Crescent snags thrilling victory at Cashion to capture district crown

November 06, 2022 - 00:00
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  • Crescent snags thrilling victory at Cashion to capture district crown
    TD PLUNGE – Cashion’s Cooper Frazee (2) brings down Crescent back Tanner Rice (8), but not before Rice was able to cross the goal line during the Tigers’ 28-21 road win on Thursday night. The victory locked up the District A-3 championship for Cresc

Shawn Booth is apparently a prophet and the Crescent Tigers are district champs.

Crescent trailed rival Cashion 14-7 at halftime on the road Thursday in this year’s version of the “War on 74.”

Booth, Crescent’s onetime head coach who is now the defensive coordinator, had a message for the team.

“Keep plugging away,” he said. “The score is going to be 28-21 and we’re going to win it.”

Right he was. C.J. Wilson caught a 19yard touchdown pass from Kade Varner with 4:32 to play to give the Tigers a lead by that very score.

It stuck after Varner intercepted a pass in the end zone and Tanner Rice’s first-down run iced the game, 28-21, at Maxon Field.

The win gave Crescent an 8-1 record for the regular season and the District A-3 championship with a 4-1 mark. It also secures at least two home playoff games.

A loss would have sent the Tigers to fourth place in the district and a trip to No. 1 Ringling in the first round.

That fate falls to Cashion, which ends its regular season at 4-6 and 2-3.

“The kids played really well,” said Crescent coach J.L. Fisher. “And they just kept believing.”

Neither team scored until just over 5:00 remained in the first half and Varner found a wide open C.J. Wilson for a 25-yard score.

Cashion was not only able to tie it before the half, but take the lead.

The Wildcats drove the field and scored on Chance Acord’s 3-yard run with 3:26 left.

After forcing a Crescent punt, the Wildcats marched down again.

Acord hit Max Brown near the home sideline and Brown took care of the rest for a 16-yard score and a 14-7 Cashion lead at the break.

Crescent was on the ropes, much like it had been the week before when Minco jumped out to a 20-0 win.

The Tigers fought back, but never recovered and suffered their first loss of the season.

“I think last week humbled us and lit a fire under us,” Fisher said.

So this time Crescent not only fought back, but persevered.

The teams traded scores in the third quarter before Rice’s 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth brought the Tigers within 21-20.

Varner’s extra-point attempt missed, keeping Cashion on top.

It didn’t matter as the Tigers went on the winning drive minutes later.

Wilson’s TD catch at the 4:32 mark was Varner’s third scoring pass of the day. Crescent’s defense and run game did the rest.

“This time we got in a hole and were able to dig out,” Fisher said. “We learned from last week.”

The win was just the second for Crescent in the series since Cashion moved to 11-man in 2008.

Yardage wise, the teams were virtually even.

Crescent amassed 429 yards on 70 snaps. Cashion totaled 404 on its 51 offensive plays.

A bulk of Cashion’s offense came through the air as Acord was 21 of 33 for 328 yards.

Brown caught nine passes for 147 yards. Cooper Frazee added another six receptions for 85 yards.

Cashion ran for just 76 yards.

Crescent was relatively more balanced.

Varner completed 16 of 24 attempts for 244 yards and three touchdowns.

Wilson had a big day with six catches for 120 yards and two scores. Rice contributed 80 more yards and a TD with his five receptions.

The Tigers added 185 rushing yards.

Rice picked up 76 yards on 10 carries. Wilson added 49 yards on 18 attempts.

Jackson Vandruff did his part to slow down the Tigers. The Cashion seniors collected a game-high 10 tackles. Kai Gilbert and Camden Maroney added nine apiece.

Tylan Neugent recorded seven tackles for the Tigers, who are district champs for the first time since 2017.

That’s also the last time the Tigers beat Cashion…a season Crescent reached the Class A title game.

“We knew it would be a war and it was,” Fisher said. “To get a win on the road against a rival in a game like this is huge.

“The kids are believing.”