As teams begin the second half of their seasons, the Region 6AAAAAA playoff race will start to take shape Friday.
Creekview (3-2, 1-1) will travel to Sequoyah (2-2, 1-1), with the winner putting itself in strong contention for the state playoffs. With Harrison, Allatoona and Dalton leading the charge, the likes of Creekview, Sequoyah, River Ridge and will likely be in a battle for the fourth and final playoff spot.
Creekview lost 42-19 to Dalton at home two weeks ago, but the final score did not indicate how close the game was through three quarters, as the Grizzlies' offense looked efficient through much of the game.
Tyler Stevens has emerged as a workhorse running back for Creekview, while quarterback Brody Rhodes is second in the county with eight passing touchdowns. Ethan Dirrim may be the best offensive player in the county, as he leads all local players with eight total touchdowns.
Creekview coach Trevor Williams gave his players a few days off during last week’s bye and said preparing for Sequoyah’s Wing-T offense is never easy.
“The best thing we can do is watch as much film as possible,” Williams said. “They do a really good job with it, and it takes you a minute for guys to adjust to the speed. Defensively, it’s all about discipline and putting your eyes in the right place.”
Sequoyah is also coming off a bye week, following a 29-7 win at Campbell two weeks ago. The Chiefs have yet to put together a win streak this season, and a victory over Creekview would go a long way to helping secure a fourth straight playoff appearance.
Junior running back Jaden Mitchell is sixth in the county with 228 rushing yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He should continue to be the focal point of the Chiefs’ offense, but sophomore Aidan Moore and seniors Sean Haynes and Myles McGee have also provided explosive plays downfield.
“Aidan is pretty good athlete, and with him being young, he’s beginning to understand a little more each week of what we’re trying to do,” Sequoyah head coach James Teter said. “For Sean, he came from Cherokee with their spread, and what we do is completely different. It’s taken him a little while to catch on, but he’s definitely helping us.”
Teter said the Creekview game always seems to feel a little different than the other games on the schedule, adding that, in his eyes, Creekview does not look far off where it was a year ago.
“With it being a rivalry game, whoever can control their emotions will probably have the best chance to win,” Teter said. “(Creekview is) pretty impressive and very athletic. All year long, our defense has played well, but it just comes down to tackling and whether we make those tackles.”
Creekview is averaging 27 points per game, while the Sequoyah defense is allowing 15.7 points per game. Jack Blackman and Christian Kirby lead Sequoyah with 23 tackles apiece, while Creekview’s defense boasts the top three sack leaders in Cherokee County in Isaac Hubert, Nick Weeks and Jackson Partain.