Creekview is right in the thick of the playoff race within Region 6AAAAAA, and with only three games remaining in the regular season, each week becomes more important than the last.
That will continue to be the case Friday when the Grizzlies host South Cobb.
“With how good our region is, the longer you’re in the playoff hunt, the bigger each game gets,” Creekview coach Trevor Williams said. “With each win, it makes the next week that much bigger.”
Last week against River Ridge, Creekview (5-2, 3-2) sealed its victory with a goal-line stand in the final minute of the game. The Grizzlies held on to the victory despite a number of self-inflicted mistakes -- 13 penalties and five fumbles -- but Williams was not going to change the process the Grizzlies have used up to this point.
“It’s been much more focused this week,” he said. “South Cobb is much better than their record shows. Their young quarterback can really go, and they’ve got a running back and a couple linemen who can play, too. Practice has been really good for us this week, and we’re just going to continue to focus on us. If we handle what we can control, we’ll put ourselves in a good position at the end of the day.”
Creekview’s senior wide receiver Ethan Dirrim has been making a name for himself as possibly the best playmaker in Cherokee County. The 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound Dirrim leads the County with 12 total touchdowns, eight receiving touchdowns and a 16.7-yard average on receptions.
Dirrim is also second in the county with 38 receptions and 636 yards, but Williams said his leadership may be even more valuable.
“First of all, he’s a great teammate,” Williams said. “He’s also very competitive, and he’s a great leader for us. He’s played a lot of football here, and he just makes plays."
South Cobb (1-7, 1-5) lost 35-16 to Sequoyah last week and the Eagles' only win this season came in a nail-biter against winless Osborne. Sophomore quarterback Terrance Clarke scored on a 19-yard run last week and will keep the Creekview linebackers and secondary honest when senior running back Ali Fard or sophomore Jonathan Simmons are not carrying the ball.
South Cobb coach Terry Jones said it has been a repeating story this season and said the challenge will get no easier this week.
“Against Sequoyah, it was kind of like 'Groundhog Day,'” Jones said. “One good play, and then a couple bad plays of shooting ourselves in the foot. We just have to give ourselves an opportunity to play into the second half. Creekview will be another good challenge for us. You can tell they do an awesome job in the weight room, and up front, we have to be prepared for the pressure they bring.”
Brody Rhodes scored on a 2-yard quarterback-keeper last week and continues to be Creekview's leading rusher with 379 yards on the season. Sophomore running back Tyler Stevens left last week’s game with an apparent lower leg injury but Williams said he could be back this week.
Cole Hasty and Cade Sousa provided valuable carries for Creekview in Stevens' absence, and while Hasty has split time with Stevens this season, Sousa has also made his way into the rotation.