After 2 weeks of fall break and one full week of no football Creek Wood got back to work on Friday night looking to stay undefeated.
They accomplished the feat, defeating White House 27-7, but it was not an easy task.
I understand the 20 point margin may make it seem like this team coasted to yet another double digit victory, but the Red Hawks have many things they need to clean up and a few issues they still need to address if they hope to make a deeper playoff run than they have in the past.
For starters Creek Wood consistently put themselves behind the sticks or in poor situations Friday night with penalties. It wasn’t just false starts either, they had chop blocks, offensive face masks, and more. It was all sorts of different penalties and that is something you cannot do going forward against improved competition.
Another clear sign of rust was dropped passes, specifically by Brandon Porter who normally is very sure handed in games. He will need to refocus and come up with balls like the one that would have been a TD on Friday night to get the Red Hawks back to clicking on all cylinders.
Elijah Donaldson saw his athleticism early in the game Friday make some plays and cause issues for the Patriot defense. Whether because of that, or because of being off for 2 or so weeks, he seemed to revert back to an earlier version of himself always trying to make the athletic play instead of the right one.
What I mean by that is he has shown as the year progressed the ability to roll out of trouble, point his receivers down field and then set his feet, square those shoulders, and deliver a strike. Friday night he seemed to slightly regress always throwing off his back foot or without squaring his shoulders. This caused slightly more inaccuracy than we are used to seeing from the senior starter, and it is something that has to get refocused and corrected for the Red Hawks to take that next step they seemed to be taking before the bye week.
Last but certainly not least maybe the most glaring issue that is still showing up for this Red Hawk team is the lack of depth defensively. When the starting 11 are on the field this defense is elite and capable of slowing down or stopping any offense. The issue occurs when 2 or more members of the starting 11 have to come out for a few plays, a series, or even a game. That is when teams have been able to score and found success moving the ball.
No one expects the 2nd string to be as historically good as the starting 11 have been this year. That being said they will have to come togethor and step up against the Springfields and beyond of the world if the Red Hawks hope to get past the 2nd round of the playoffs.
On a more positive note to end out it is homecoming week at Creek Wood and the team is still undefeated at 8-0, should be 9-0 after this week.
They will host Portland at home Friday night on 101.5 the one at 7:30 pm. Come out and say hello or tune in to hear myself and Bo Kennedy on the call.