To avoid repeating such a heavy loss, coach Robert Braucht feels that the Knights must improve their fundamentals and execution.
“We’ve been working on our fundamentals all week,” Braucht said. “We need to be fundamentally sound and implement our game plan, which is something that we didn’t do last week.”
Braucht felt that both the offense and defense were lacking last week against Sequoyah.
“Our special teams were alright, considering it was our first game, but we didn’t execute on either side of the ball,” he said. “We have to correct that.”
For offensive improvements to start, Braucht feels the Knights (0-1) must begin to win battles up front, something they didn’t do last week.
“We need to get out there and block,” Braucht said. “If we start to do that well, we’ll be alright.”
Braucht expects Creekview (1-0) to come into the game with a well-coached, organized team due to the influence of coach Al Morrell, who guided the Grizzlies to a win at Cherokee last week.
“(Morrell) is a legend around the area,” Braucht said. “Year in and year out, he does a great job with what he’s got and helps his players to supersede their own abilities.”
As he faces Creekview’s defense, Braucht is hoping to move the ball through the air, rather than just on the ground.
“To tell you the truth, our passing has been pretty good so far this year,” Braucht said. “Our running game has always been steady, but our ability to throw
has really improved during
Success in the air could be paramount for River Ridge, which will once again be without star running back E.J. Ellis, who was injured in practice two weeks ago.
Despite coming in as the favorite, and with the more experienced team, Morrell is still wary of the talent River Ridge possesses.
“They have some very good, skilled players, and they are very big up front,” Morrell said. “I think this game will be a lot of challenge for our guys.”
With the success through the air that Grizzlies quarterback Hayden Hall found last week — going 10-for-18 passing for 170 yards and two touchdowns — Morrell doesn’t plan on altering his team’s offensive strategy.
“We’re just going to try and run our offense based on their defensive alignment,” he said. “We can run the ball well, and we can pass it well, so, whichever one opens up, we’ll stick with it.”
For Morrell, the 19 penalties that almost cost his team the game last week is what must be remedied.
“We need to cut out the stupid mistakes. We had a lot of useless penalties last week,” said Morrell. “We kept sustaining drives for Cherokee. We can’t keep doing that.”
Along the same vein as containing the length and time spent by Cherokee’s drives, Morrell feels it will be difficult to stop River Ridge’s option attack, even with Ellis missing from the backfield.
“The triple option that they run will be difficult to deal with,” Morrell said. “It’ll make us change up our reads a bit, and our boys will have to stick to their assignments.”
Ultimately, though, for Creekview to win Friday, Morrell feels Creekview’s top offensive threats must play well.
“The strength of our team lies in our skill positions,” Morrell said. “They performed well last week, and I hope they do again Friday night.”