The Spartans are on a 31-game losing streak dating back to the 2009 season, and with Creekview (7-1, 4-0) having already assured itself of a No. 1 seed for next week’s region play-in, the Grizzlies will use the opportunity of facing an outmatched opponent to rest their top players.
While averaging just 6.5 points per game offensively — with a season high of 13 — North Springs (0-8, 0-4) has also allowed a region-worst 47 points per game. The Spartans have held only one opponent, Hapeville Charter, to fewer than 40 points this year.
Though his team has to be considered a heavy favorite, Creekview coach Al Morrell admitted it will be difficult to get his players to completely focus on the game at hand and not look ahead to the playoffs.
“I’m not going to lie to our players. I always try to be honest with them, and they know that (North Springs) isn’t a very successful football team,” Morrell said. “Our kids read the papers and they watch the film.”
On tape, Morrell has seen the Spartans struggle to find success with any specific formation.
“Offensively, they have used the I-formation, the Wing-T and the shotgun, so we don’t really know what to expect,” he said. “Defensively, they usually come out in a 50-front, but they’ve used the 4-3 and the 4-4 as well, so there are some unknowns concerning them.”
Rather than focus North Springs, Morrell has used this week’s practices to fine-tune both sides of the ball.
“Our focus has been on us — on trying to get better and get ready for next week’s region play-in,” Morrell said. “Last week against Forsyth Central, we played the most complete game that we’ve played all season, so we want to just keep doing what we have been doing and keep our level of execution up.”
When asked if he planned on trying anything different, Morrell said no.
“You’re going to see more of the same from us,” he said. “Considering we have only a week until the region play-in, we wouldn’t try anything different (tonight). We’ll run our base offense and defense and try to keep improving.”
With tonight’s game holding no playoff implications, Morrell hopes to be able to rest as many of his starters as possible ahead of next week’s game against the No. 4 seed of the southern subregion, which is likely to be Riverwood.
“Our starters will definitely start the game, and as far as I know, they will play the whole first half,” Morrell said. “I don’t take anything for granted, so if the score is close, our starters will remain in the game. If we get a comfortable lead, I would love to get every kid on the sideline in the game. But we’re just going to take it one quarter at a time.”