Two weeks ago against Northview, the Grizzlies’ defense had to make a couple of big stops to end a late Northview drive that had the potential to tie the game, in order to leave the field with a 35-28 victory.
Last week at Cambridge, Creekview needed a last-minute field goal to squeak out a 27-24 victory over the second-year varsity program.
“It came down to almost the final play, and we were fortunate to come out of there with a win,” Crowder said.
Those fortunate wins have helped Creekview maintain its lead atop Region 7AAAAA (A), heading into the final two weeks of subregion play
This Friday, Crowder is hoping the Grizzlies (5-2, 3-0) spare him the close calls when they travel to Forsyth Central (1-6, 1-2), but he isn’t counting on an easy win.
“Forsyth Central is probably one of the better 1-6 teams I’ve seen,” he said. “They are very physical. They seem to be getting better every week, so our challenge is to play just like we were playing Sequoyah or Cherokee or Kell and go out there and get better this week.”
Forsyth Central lost to Sequoyah a week ago, and Crowder and his staff looked at that film to get a feel for the Bulldogs. While Creekview doesn’t run an offense similar to Sequoyah’s, the film was still able to show Crowder a bit of what the Grizzlies will be up against, especially on the defensive side of things.
“We have played Sequoyah, so we know how physical they are on defense, and Forsyth Central certainly moved the ball against them at times,” Crowder said. “We are concerned with their ground game. They are going to fight for the ball and try to keep us off the field.”
Crowder said that his players have learned a lot from the last two games — particularly from the victory over Cambridge, which required a late 33-yard field goal by Ben McClellan for Creekview to prevail.
“I think that any time that you have to score at the end of the game, and you take the ball 75 yards and go down and score because you have to, says something,” Crowder said. “We work on that every Wednesday. To execute that was really gratifying to the kids because now they know that we can do that.”
Knowing they are capable of scoring when the clock is winding down could prove invaluable as Creekview makes a play to get into the state playoffs for the second consecutive season, and the first time under Crowder.
“It gives you confidence,” Crowder said. “This offense can score at any time, and it doesn’t take us very long to do that sometimes, and we proved it (against Cambridge).”