Claggett Creek’s Izeyah Contreras runs past a Leslie defender to pick up a first down. Contreras scored three touchdowns in the Panthers 20-6 victory (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

After suffering a close loss to Parrish in their previous contest, the Claggett Creek football squad made sure to grab the early momentum in this one. 

The Panthers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first half and never looked back as Claggett Creek defeated Leslie 20-6 on Wednesday, Oct. 2. 

“I told those guys to go out and smack someone in the mouth and play physical football and that is what they did,” Claggett Creek head coach Aaron Carr said. 

It was the defense that set the tone early on as the Panthers forced Leslie to punt after three plays. Then, on Claggett Creek’s second offensive play of the game, running back Izeyah Contreras took a pitch from quarterback Jacob Allen and went 56 yards for the score. Allen pounded in the two-point conversion on a quarterback sneak to put the Panthers on top 8-0.

On Claggett Creek’s second offensive drive, they got a very similar result.

Facing a third-and-10 from their own 20-yard line, Allen found Contreras with a shallow out rout and the speedy eighth grader raced past the entire Leslie defense for a 80-yard score. 

Allen continued to have success through the air for the majority of the contest, connecting with Davien Cabrera for a pair of 30-yard gains later in the game. 

“We were trying to set up the pass for the whole game,” Carr said. “We knew that Leslie would have their smaller guys on the outside, so we believed that we could beat them deep. (Allen) made some really good passes today and we had some kids with some really good catches as well.” 

After another defensive stop to open the second half, the Panthers offense put the game away midway through the third quarter when Allen hit Contreras over the middle for a 27-yard touchdown.  

Despite giving up a score with less than four seconds remaining in the game, the Claggett Creek defense was dominant for all 32 minutes, stifling the physical Leslie rushing attack. 

“We did a really good job with our team tackling and rallying to the football. With (Leslie’s) big guys, you have to have more than one guy making it to the ball,” Carr said. 

Claggett Creek will host Houck at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m.