Seniors shine for Morrell in No. 1 clincher
by Michael Foster
Tribune Sports Correspondent
October 27, 2012 02:22 AM | 1786 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Central Forsyth at Creekview
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CANTON — If Creekview’s Al Morrell did in fact coach his final game at the Grizzly Den on Friday night, there’s no doubt he went out in style.

On a night when not only the Grizzlies’ seniors were honored, but so too their retiring coach, senior quarterback Hayden Hall accounted for 326 total yards of offense as Creekview clinched the top seed in Region 7AAAA (A) with a 47-14 win over Forsyth Central.

“Great deal of relief and a lot of satisfaction,” Morrell said. “I’m very proud of the coaching staff and the kids, and just the great effort. It was a good night for Creekview.”

The teams traded touchdowns on their opening drives of the game, but Creekview’s defense never looked back as it forced Forsyth Central (2-6, 2-2) to seven consecutive punts as the Creekview offense piled on the points.

“That’s a good football team,” Forsyth Central coach Chris Bennett said. “There’s a reason they’re 4-0 (in the subregion). It showed (Friday). We got the drive there in the first, and after that, they just shut us down.”

Creekview (7-1, 4-0) didn’t punt until the final play of the fourth quarter, featuring balance with an effective ground and pass attack.

Hall, who celebrated his 18th birthday Friday, dominated the game by completing 11 of 15 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 79 rushing yards on six carries.

“Hayden did a great job,” Morrell said. “He’s one of the team leaders, and he reads the defense very well. He makes a lot of the calls at the line of scrimmage. He just had a great night (Friday) and executed very well.”

Like Hall, it was the seniors who stood out for the Grizzlies.

The duo of receivers Hunter Udall and Joey Noll accounted for 167 yards in their connections with Hall. Noll’s 41-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was arguably the highlight of a highlight-filled contest.

Defensively, senior defensive linemen Trent Gilleland and Chris Mata each recorded sacks against the run-heavy Bulldog offense.

“They all made plays. It was a team effort. I couldn’t be prouder,” Morrell said.

With the victory, Morrell plans to let some players rest and heal next week when Creekview visits North Springs in the Grizzlies’ final game before the Nov. 9 region play-in game.

“We don’t have tremendous depth, honestly. We are a little beat up right now,” Morrell said. “But the guys that played are playing with a lot of heart and intensity and playing very physical.”

After playing North Springs — a likely win against a team that’s on a 31-game losing streak — Creekview will travel to play the No. 4 seed of the southern subregion.

A victory there would mean another chance for Morrell to coach at the Grizzly Den.

“We still have to win the play-in game,” Morrell said, “but I’m glad we have a shot at it now.”

Morrell, who improved his record at Creekview to 46-24 over seven seasons, was honored with a postgame ceremony following the contest.
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