When you lose your fourth straight game and have three-plus turnovers, it is hard to find some positivity.
That is the case for Creek Wood after a 49-10 loss Friday night to Tullahoma.
Nothing seemed to go the Red Hawks way as they yet again faced an opponent with an advantage athletically, but more importantly, this may have been the only time this season we will say Creek Wood was the less disciplined team.
That isn’t to say the Red Hawks did not show discipline but as former Creek Wood Defensive Coordinator Ryan Sensing said on the broadcast last night “Tullahoma, unlike our last two opponents, does not have the D1 athletes that we know of, but they have a unit.”
He was correct.
All night the discipline of the Wildcats was on display.
On offense, they took what Creek Wood gave them.
The Red Hawks keyed on stopping the RPO (run-pass option) of Tullahoma, so the Wildcats just went to a straight hand-off and pass game.
Red Hawks did a good job defending the run after the first drive of the game, so Ryan Scott, the Tullahoma QB, went to the air and found open guys with great ball placement.
Defensively it wasn’t the Wildcats’ speed, agility, or athleticism.
In fact, two or three times Jacob Stephens, Jamison Ford, and Michael Harris, along with Jayden Elliot on kick returns, proved they are just as athletic in space.
The issue is, nine and a half times out of ten Tullahoma had perfect run fits, played flat to the line of scrimmage, and everyone executed their assignment and stayed with their guy they were asked to defend.
Simply put, Tullahoma played perfect football.
Take what the defense gives you, do your job on defense, and take advantage of the other teams’ mistakes.
The Red Hawks had plenty of them.
Three fumbles, one in the first half two in the second, and a first half interception all led to Wildcat points, or drives that flipped the field and put the Red Hawks in bad position to try and get the game back in hand.
As always, you can find positives.
Jamison Ford was back from an injury and showed he is still a viable WR1 when healthy.
Jacob Stephens looked more decisive and violent in the run game from the QB position, something this team needs if they want to keep defenses honest.
Outside of a couple deep pass plays where the front seven for Creek Wood could not get home, the Red Hawk defense did a good job bottling up a talented Wildcat Offense.
It does get easier from here.
That may be the biggest positive of them all.
The Gauntlet has all but ended.
Next week is an old-school rivalry game with new/old region foe Montgomery Central, a team Creek Wood knows they can compete with.
It also feels so crucial and critical too salvaging the season and getting back on track for a playoff run.
Creek Wood has now seen the big three in their new region, the Indians have not seen one of them.
This is a step back in terms of competition for the Red Hawks and a step up with even bigger ones on the horizon for Montogomery Central.
We will see what happens next week, you can hear it all on 101.5 the one and the RFC Sports Network.
Game kick-off is at 7 pm with pre-game as always at 6:30 pm. The third straight home game before a bye week and three straight road games for Creek Wood.