After building a 21-6 lead, Creekview (1-0) let Cherokee (0-1) back in the game after, on a punt attempt, the snap sailed over the Grizzly punter’s head and was downed on the 3-yard line. Treyvon Simmons then punched the ball into the end zone two plays later the pull the Warriors’ within eight with 4:10 left in the game.
But Cherokee never got another chance to score, and salvage Josh Shaw’s debut as the Warriors’ coach, as Creekview ran out the clock.
The Grizzlies were lead by junior quarterback Hayden Hall, who went 12-for-18 for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Chandler Wold ran for 39 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
Cherokee’s Spencer Ashley, a sophomore making his first career start at quarterback, was 10-for-18 with 59 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown.
Creekview came out of the gate strong, driving down the field and into Cherokee’s red zone in five plays, one of which was a personal foul against the Warriors for a late hit.
The Grizzlies took the lead when Wold ran in from 18 yards out.
Creekview almost added to the lead in its next possession, but a 36-yard field goal attempt by Conner Fraser narrowly missed.
Cherokee (0-1) began to move the ball on its next possession and drove 80 yards in six plays, but a tipped pass in the red zone was intercepted by the Grizzlies.
Creekview capitalized on the mistake, with Hall throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Wright, giving the visitors a 14-0 lead.
Cherokee eventually got on the scoreboard when Simmons rushed in from 2 yards out just before the end of the first half.
After forcing Cherokee to go three and out at the beginning of the second half, Creekview scored once again after Hall connected with Wright again, this time on a 6-yard pass.
Despite one distinct Achilles’ heel for the Grizzlies — racking up 19 penalties for 160 yards — Creekview coach Al Morrell was happy with the end result of Thursday’s opener.
“Despite the mistakes, I was proud of how went out there and played,” said Morrell, who is now 5-1 in season openers as the Grizzlies’ coach. “We had a lot of mistakes that kept them in the game, but we fought hard and won it. I’d like us to cut down on our penalties, but, besides those, we were pretty good.”
Creekview will get the chance to remedy what went wrong next week, when it faces another one of its county rivals, River Ridge, at the Grizzly Den.
Cherokee, meanwhile, will resume its rivalry with Sequoyah after two years apart.