Down by 15 with less than 8 minutes to go, Sequoyah (2-3, 0-1), which had struggled to consistently move the ball all night, penetrated the red zone, only for running back Felipe Restrepo to fumble the ball away on the Grizzlies’ 18-yard line.
After forcing Creekview (4-1, 1-0) to punt, the Chiefs once again found themselves in the red zone thanks to some smart plays by quarterback Lex Lauletta.
But Lauletta undid his hard work when, on fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard line, he fumbled the snap, and the Grizzlies recovered.
“Our defense was outstanding (Friday),” Creekview coach Al Morrell said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Sequoyah coach James Teter refused to blame the loss on the two turnovers, instead saying the defeat was a product of his offense’s inability to move the ball.
The Chiefs’ star running back, Blake Ingleton, was held to 56 yards on 17 carries. Ingleton came into the game having eclipsed 200 yards three times this season.
“While the turnovers were problems, our main problem really was that we weren’t able to move the ball early,” Teter said. “Every other game this season, we’ve been able to generate some offense, but we just couldn’t move the ball (Friday).”
For the majority of the night, the game was a slow, defensive affair, with the teams punting the ball a combined 17 times.
After a slow start, Creekview struck first.
After driving 72 yards down on eight plays to end the first quarter, Grizzlies quarterback Hayden Hall threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Will Kirby, putting Creekview ahead 7-0 just 5 seconds into the second.
Sequoyah responded on the next series, as running back Stuart Glassic found a hole on the right side of the Grizzlies’ line and ran for a 58-yard touchdown.
But after a false-start penalty on the Chiefs’ first attempt at the extra point, James Harris missed his second attempt, and Sequoyah stayed a point down.
Neither team could muster much offense for the rest of the quarter, and the Grizzlies went into the half up by one.
Creekview added to its lead in the third quarter off of a 13-yard touchdown run by Chandler Wold and a 1-yard touchdown run by Hall.
Despite its two fourth-quarter drives, Sequoyah was unable to cut into the Grizzlies’ lead.
Hall was effective on both sides of the ball. He was 13-for-16 for 169 yards and a touchdown through the air, and he carried the ball 10 times for 37 yards and another touchdown.
Creekview also benefited from the unexpected of return wide receiver Hunter Udall, who had been ruled out earlier in the week due to an arm infection, but was cleared to play late Thursday.
Not only did Udall catch the ball five times for 93 yards, he also recovered Sequoyah’s first fumble.
“He came up huge (Friday),” said Morrell, whose Grizzlies have now won four in a row in their series with the Chiefs since losing their first meeting in 2008. “He’s a guy that has got the speed to come up with some big plays, and he did.”