Creekview’s Tyler Stevens makes a carry behind his offensive line during last week’s game against River Ridge.

The race for the playoff positioning is well underway in Region 7AAAAAA.

Following an overtime loss to River Ridge last week, Creekview (4-2, 2-1) will look to rebound Friday when it hosts Riverwood (3-2, 1-2) in a crucial region matchup. A win for the Grizzlies would keep them in the hunt for a possible region championship, while a loss would drop them into a crowded pack of teams fighting for a playoff berth.

Last Friday proved once again that points will not be easy to come by against Creekview’s defense. It took until the fourth quarter for River Ridge to find the end zone, and even after surrendering 20 points to the Knights, the Grizzlies are still allowing only 8.1 points allowed per game.

Creekview held River Ridge running back Amehre Morrison — the leading rusher in Class AAAAAA — to 65 yards, and it was one defensive stop away from pulling out the victory.

“We played a good football team and a really confident football team last week, and I told my guys that we can’t let one loss become two,” Creekview coach Trevor Williams said. “I thought we played hard, but, ultimately, what’s on the scoreboard is all that matters to me.”

Linebacker Grant Anderson, who finished with 11 tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack, is making a case as the county’s top defensive player. Safety Cale Williams, defensive lineman Sam Minozzi and linebacker Isaac Hubert all look to be playing well enough to garner interest from college recruiters.

Riverwood, coached by former Georgia and NFL running back Robert Edwards, is coming off a bye and has plenty talent on both sides of the ball. It lost consecutive games to Johns Creek and River Ridge prior to its bye week and should be motivated to stay in the race for the playoffs.

“They’re very athletic, and it obviously starts with their quarterback,” Williams said. “They’ve got two good defensive ends, and their corners are outstanding. Hopefully, we can make some plays on offense and move the ball to keep their offense off the field.”

The Raiders are led offensively by quarterback Avery Smith, who holds an offer from Akron and has received recruiting attention from multiple other Division I programs. Smith has been dynamic in both the running and passing game and has multiple options on the outside. Wide receiver Donovan Logan has been the primary receiving threat and has the speed to get behind most defenses.

Jonathan Brown and Tillman Weaver are two of the better defensive linemen in the region, while cornerback Khalil Anderson is the Raiders’ best college prospect with offers from South Carolina, Arkansas and Mississippi, among others.

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