After starting last year with a 1-5 record, the Grizzlies managed to win their final four games to finish the season at 5-5 and narrowly avoid their second losing season in a row.
Now, Creekview (5-1, 2-0) has the chance to not only eclipse its win total from 2011 — with three games to spare — but the Grizzlies can improve their Region 7AAAAA (A) record to 3-0. That would all but guarantee Creekview a place in the region play-in game for a spot in the state playoffs.
In their attempt to clinch a wining record, the Grizzlies seem to have drawn the perfect opponent, as Cambridge (0-6, 0-2) has yet to win a game.
In their first year as a varsity program, the Bears have scored an average of only 11 points per game, giving up an average of 44 points.
Cambridge’s smallest margin of defeat has been 20 points, in a shutout at the hands of Osborne. That was also the only time the Bears have held an opponent to fewer than 40 points in a game.
Despite the odds being heavily tilted in his team’s favor, Creekview coach Al Morrell ruled out the notion that his players might be lacking in concentration when they take the field against Cambridge.
“Right now, our focus is on Creekview,” Morrell said. “Right now, we are trying to get better fundamentally and improve in the areas that we need to be better at to beat a team that could possibly keep us out of the playoffs.”
One aspect Creekview did not struggle with last week was its offense, which produced 56 points and more than 600 yards in a win over Northview last week. The Grizzlies’ defense, however, gave up 42 points and more than 500 yards.
Offensively, Morrell will rely on playmakers Hayden Hall, Hunter Udall and Will Kirby to move the ball against Cambridge’s fledgling defense. Hall and Chandler Wold combined to pass for 401 yards last week, with Udall bringing in 267 of those yards, and Kirby adding 119.
Defensively, Morrell hopes to see improvements on the line, which he felt had a poor game last week against Northview, allowing Titans quarterback D.J. Pearson to go 27-of-43 for 367 yards, and running back Terrence Upshaw to run for 166 yards.
“Our defense had been great all season up until last week,” Morrell said. “Our line played too high and didn’t put pressure on the quarterback. This week, I definitely want to see us be very physical and aggressive and get all 11 guys flying towards the ball.”
Despite the fact that a win against Cambridge seems to be the likely outcome, Morrell insisted that he wasn’t thinking past the Bears this week.
“It would be nice to be 3-0 in the region, but you don’t take anybody for granted,” he said. “We are just going to keep taking it one game at a time.”