After limiting Osborne (1-4) to 85 offensive yards in the first half, Creekview (3-1) completely shut the Cardinals down in the second, with Osborne gaining no positive yards and only one first down.
“Defensively, we were outstanding,” Creekview coach Al Morrell said. “(Our defense) tackled well and showed their physicality. I could not be prouder.”
Osborne coach Xarvia Smith felt his players wilted at the pressure of the larger Grizzly defenders.
“They just wore us down,” Smith said. “They were a physical, strong football team, and they just pounded us down.”
Osborne’s wear and fatigue was evident on both sides of the ball as the game entered the fourth quarter.
Though the Cardinals were able to keep Creekview from scoring in the third quarter, they quickly gave way to Creekview’s rushing attack in the fourth, with quarterback Hayden Hall capping an 11 play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
From there, Osborne fell apart.
After receiving the kickoff, the Cardinals quickly found themselves on their own 6-yard line after being flagged for pass interference and delay-of-game penalties.
On the next play, the snap was fumbled and Creekview recovered.
The Grizzlies’ Will Kirby punched it in two plays later from the 1 to give Creekview a 28-0 lead.
On Osborne’s very next play from scrimmage, quarterback Kendall Walker threw an interception, and Creekview took over on the Cardinals’ 14.
The Grizzlies were held to a field goal, bringing the score to its final margin.
Creekview’s 31 points came on a night in which two of its top wide receivers — seniors Brandon Wright (Achilles) and Hunter Udall (illness) — were out due to injury.
Despite the margin of victory, Morrell was disappointed in his offense, which managed to gain only 109 yards in the second half and 237 total.
“We made a lot of mistakes out there,” he said. “It’s hard to complain when you get the win, but we need to execute better offensively if we want to win next week.”
Creekview will have a decidedly tougher task in its upcoming game, hosting archrival Sequoyah in the first game of play in Region 7AAAAA’s northern subregion.
Friday’s game opened with a promising start for the Grizzlies, as Chandler Wold put Creekview in fantastic field position when he returned the opening kickoff to the Cardinals’ 25-yard line.
Two successive penalties halted Creekview’s drive, however, and it ended with a missed 43-yard field goal by Connor Fraser.
After Osborne was forced to punt, the Grizzlies made the most of their next possession as Hall ran it in from 57 yards out to take a 7-0 lead.
The Cardinals struggled offensively in the first quarter, totaling only 20 yards on offense, with Walker not attempting a pass.
Creekview also opened the second quarter with a quick score, as Wold sped straight through the Osborne defense for a 41-yard touchdown run with less than 2 minutes gone.
The Cardinals had their first real chance to jump on the board with a little less than 5 minutes remaining in the half, but a high snap caused Joe Alvarado’s 43-field goal attempt to barely make it past his offensive line.
With less than a minute to go, Osborne went for it on fourth down, but Walker was sacked for a loss, and Creekview ran the clock out to take a 14-0 lead into halftime.
Wold led the Grizzlies on the ground, totaling 78 yards on 12 carries.
Hall was 7-for-9 with 64 passing yards.
Running back Ayo Ashi was Osborne’s only major offensive producer, carrying the ball 16 times for 58 yards.
While Smith was proud of his team’s first-half effort, he lamented their inability to capitalize on the few opportunities they had.
“I think we have got to learn how to finish the game,” he said. “We fought so hard the first half, and we had our opportunities, but we just couldn’t finish our drives.”
Smith also felt that Osborne’s loss could be attributed to the players’ lack of belief in themselves.
“I don’t think that we totally believe that we are as good as we actually are,” he said, “and that is something that we have to learn to overcome.”