Undefeated. It is a word very few can say that accomplished at any point in their athletic career.
Creek Wood was on the verge of an undefeated regular season visiting Springfield on Friday night with a region title on the line.
For the first time this year they didn’t walk away the victors falling to the yellow jackets 38-14 as Springfield collects their third straight region championship.
All hope is not lost however, the Red Hawks showed they could compete in the first half and will still host in round one of the TSSAA playoffs this Friday night.
In the first half on Friday Creek Wood showed they have the speed and talent. Two big time deep balls from Elijah Donaldson escaping pressure to Jamison Ford and Raekwon Nesbitt helped open up the running lanes for Michael Harris and Donaldson.
A 14-10 halftime lead had Red Hawk fans feeling hopeful.
Springfield made the needed adjustments though and caused mistakes that they then turned into opportunities the other way.
Donaldson threw 2 INT’s and the Red Hawks lost 2 fumbles, no team wins when they turn the ball over four times. That is something Creek Wood must correct going forward in what is now a win or go home scenario every week.
The other major storyline to come out of Friday nights region title game was the loss of star athlete Brandon Porter to injury.
Porter went out for a screen pass in the 4th quarter of the game and after being tackled was unable to get to his feet. He suffered what we now know is a fairly serious fracture and will be on crutches and in a boot until at least Nov. 16th when he should have a follow up with his doctors.
Losing 1 game to Springfield and losing the region title are not the losses that mattered on Friday night, losing Porter is.
Without the threat of Porter in the slot or out of the backfield, the Red Hawk offense will have to work much harder to get those big pass plays and open up the running game.
That won’t be so easy going forward though as every team starting with Jackson Northside this Friday night, did something to earn their way here. That means that whether they are the better team in a given matchup, every team is dangerous beyond even the cliché ‘anyone can beat anyone on a given night’.
Friday night will be a good test for Creek Wood without Porter.
Northside brings speed and a very high scoring offense to Creek Wood but they also have a very vunerable defense.
Most games they have won this year they did so by simply outscoring their opponents not stopping them.
This should allow Creek Wood to figure out it’s offense without Porter against a team with a less than capable defense, while also giving the Red Hawk secondary a chance to see how they handle real talent and speed on the outside missing arguably their best shutdown corner.
Friday Night on the RFC Sports Network, 101.5 the one and WDKN we will begin another Creek Wood Red Hawk football postseason run. How far it goes, we will see.