"In order for us to be successful we need to execute, limit and create turnovers, and drive the ball. Grandview is a big play offense and a tough defensive team. This is a big game for us and the Centennial conference. We need a big game from QB Joe Murt and strong play from both sides of the ball on the line. We must limit Walters and keep tabs on Quarles."
Coach Critchett proves to be exactly right. If they could have done what the Bruin staff intended to do the Bruins would have won. The bruin's execution was lacking in the second half, Creek had 3 turnovers, and it was Grandview with a 9 minute drive in the 3rd quarter that was a huge momentum grabber.
The game started with Cherry Creek starting at their own 20 yard line. After two 15 yard rushes by QB Joe Murt, Creek was stopped and punted. Grandview QB and University of Colorado commit Ryan Walters started the game with some jitters as his first pass was "rusty" after his one week hiatus with an ankle injury. The wolves went 3 and out the first quarter was frequently 3 and outs with some real inconsistencies between both teams. It seemed adrenaline was getting the better of both teams early on. Late in the first quarter after some nice runs and a few passes, the Ryan Walters show started. On a deep drop Walters saw WR Aubrey Quarles one and one and took a shot. Pay dirt! Quarles run under it in stride and 43 yards later Grandview was on the 2 yard line. Ryan Walters was up and over to notch the first score of the game. The first quarter ended with Grandview up 7-0.
The 2nd quarter started with Creek starting from their own 35 yard line and after a 7 yard completion, QB Joe Murt handed off to RB Joel Johnson for a 56 yard gallop. 1st and goal at the 8 yard line. On second down Murt was sneaking into the end zone and what looked like a dead play at the 2 yard line, the ball came loose and Grandview took possession at their 8 yard line.
Following two runs by Walters for 18 yards, Ryan dropped back and tried to hit Quarles on a deep flag route. He never looked off and was intercepted.
Creek started at their own 36 yard line after gaining some yards rushing, Murt found WR Chris Thompson for a 39 yard gain. After a big play to match Walters, Murt and the bruins stalled. Falling short on 3rd and 16 at the Grandview 24 yard line, Murt was hit late out of bounds and gave new life to the struggling bruins. 3 quick downs later, Creek was in 4th and 19 from the 29 yard line. Murt hit Thompson for what looked to be a 19 yard gain but was marked short and Grand view took over.
Twice inside the redzone now and nothing to show for Cherry Creek.
What proceeded to happen next was an amazing display of play calling and execution. The wolves took 8:20 off the clock! Yes 8:20, in a twelve minute quarter that is remarkable. Walters called his number numerous times after diligently sitting in the pocket and hit is wide receiver when necessary. Grandview had first and goal and surely was going in for the touchdown as tired as the Creek defense was, but after a holding penalty, the Wolves were at 3rd and goal from the 18 yard line. A busted pass play and Walters scampered to the 3 yard line but not in. Grandview settled for a field goal. After that astonishing drive, Creek had to be proud to hold them to 3 points.
Cherry Creek DB Cameron Burl then returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards to the 44 yard line and Bruins were going to make a run. Two plays later and 15 yard penalty for calling a timeout without one, Creek was in business. 1st down at the 21 yard line, Murt rushed for 9 yards. After a penalty Murt threw and ill advised pass which was intercepted in the end zone by DB Ryan Kappler to end the first half.
Three times in the redzone and nothing but turnovers.
The 3rd quarter consisted of penalties and 7 different 3 and outs. By either team. The Creek defense was making plays and putting Walters on the turf all night. Two major collisions in the third quarter and many were wondering if Ryan was going to get up. He did! Not to be one upped Cherry Creek QB was battling early in the second half for everything they gave him and the 4th quarter stage was set.
Creek had started at their own 33 yard line and after completions of 15 and 19 yards respectively the bruins were moving. In what looked like a drive killer, 2 straight in completions and nothing on 3rd down left Coach Critchett in a bind. 4th and 1 and Murt got it! Defensive holding carried the drive further and with 8:40 to go in the game Murt broke the goal line for a TD. A missed extra point hurt but now Grandview had to play to win instead of lose.
Two 3 and out by both teams and then Walters and Quarles came onto the field. On 3rd and 7, Walters stood in the pocket under heavy pressure pumped faked and threw one of the nicest passes I have ever seen and hit Aubrey in stride past an outstretched Cherry Creek DB for a 60 yard touchdown connection. It is really too bad these two are done playing together after this year. These two have the big play connection of Young and Rice and Aikman and Irvin. 16-6 Grandview.
Another deep drive ended with a desperation interception by Ryan Kappler, his second of the night.
Grandview tried to run out the clock but a fumble in their own territory gave life to the exhausted Bruins. After some movement, Cherry Creek was stopped on 4th down and the Grandview defense were the players of the game.
Grandview head coach Rocky Whitworth was pretty tired after the game.
"Our defense played a heck of a game. We are undersized but have some real speed and we used to our advantage. Our defense was making plays all over and Aubrey and Ryan put on a show. We work real hard so Ryan can get it to Aubrey and let him make plays. Each week is difficult and this was a great win."
Cherry Creek head coach was not as pleased but was positive in his assessment of the evening.
"It was a tough game tonight. I give credit to Grandview and their coaches, but we had chances to win this game and couldn't capitalize. We just didn't punch it in. Big plays, long drives, and poor execution in the red zone killed us tonight."
Ryan Walters was real pleased with his performance along with the teams.
"I really enjoy playing with Aubrey. Did you see that last one? It was an out and up in a timing route. I really couldn't see Aubrey but knew he would get there, so I threw it up. We played conservatively in the second half and getting that late TD really helped. Tonight was our best offensive game of the year overall and we still can do better. I think the offensive line and wide receivers played awesome and we want more of this. We have the bulk of our season ahead and it will be week to week."
Ryan took a major beating last night and in my mind erased any thoughts of him being soft. He got up play after play while being knocked around and running with the pigskin. He put on a show with the defense carrying his team to victory.
This battle was fun to watch and the table is now set for Grandview to make a run at the title and a bye in the first round if they can keep it up. Mullen and Overland still loom along with upset special Smoky Hill.
Player of the Game Ryan Walters SR QB Grandview 10-20 162 1 TD 1 INT 24-77 1TD*
*not indicative of effort and flow of game