The Grizzlies jumped on top early and never looked back on their way to a 44-0 win over the long-struggling program in a Region 7AAAAA (A) game at Thermopylae Stadium.
North Springs (0-9, 0-5) has now lost 32 straight games. With the vast difference between the two teams, especially considering how well Creekview (8-1, 5-0) has played as of late, Grizzlies coach Al Morrell insisted his team wasn’t looking ahead.
“Our focus was not on the opponent,” he said. “Our focus was trying to get better during the week and just preparing for the next game.”
That next game will be a return to Sandy Springs, for the region play-in game at Riverwood, the No. 4 seed of the southern subregion. If Creekview prevails, it will host a state playoff game for the first time.
Creekview entered the game with its place in the subregion standings locked, and Morrell had to make a decision on how much playing time his starters would get Friday.
“You can’t go into this game and not give the starters playing time, because, basically, it’s a tune-up for next week. So, I don’t know any football team that would not at least play the kids a full half, and maybe even a full three quarters with the starters,” Morrell said.
“We actually started the game playing two JV inside linebackers, so neither one of our starting inside backers played. And Connor Dulmage, our outside backer, didn’t play either, so we did play a lot of young guys.”
Starters did see a lot of playing time, which came back to haunt Morrell in the second-half when his senior receiver, Hunter Udall, left the game with a concussion.
Udall helped the Grizzlies to an early lead with first-half touchdown receptions of 23 and 33 yards.
“I’ve lost three receivers,” Morrell said. “Brandon Wright, who was one of my leading receivers, went out early. He has not come back. Connor Dulmage I lost last week with a broken collarbone. And (Friday), Hunter Udall got a concussion, so I don’t know if we even have three of our starting receivers going into the playoff game. So, with that in mind, I don’t know what our chances are.”
The Grizzlies dominated on the ground, with six different ball-carriers getting touches against the Spartans. Isaiah Rodgers led the charge with 74 yards on eight carries.
On the other side of the ball, Creekview forced four turnovers and had Spartans quarterback Kevin Makowski running for his life all night.
Morrell needs a victory against Riverwood next Friday to ensure at least one more game inside the Grizzly Den. He announced retirement earlier this year.
“You would think the format would be such that, if you are the subregion champion, and you go on with an 8-1 record, you would at least earn a right to play for one of the top two spots in your region,” Morrell said. “But it’s something the coaches voted against to allow us to do that, so, you know, here we are.”