Valwood looks to find rhythm against Creekside
October 11, 2019
After escaping Tiftarea last week, Valwood (3-2) is preparing for a road trip to Creekside Christian Academy (0-5) on Friday.
After the Tiftarea game, Valwood head coach Justin Henderson was vocal about his frustration with the way his team seems to let teams stay in the game.
Every game this season has gone all the way down to the wire for Valwood. Some wins could’ve been by a bigger margin, and games they lost were in their grasp and slipped away.
Injuries, penalties, turnovers and long drives against the defense have been its Achilles heel. Henderson has been big on overcoming adversity all year long and has been addressing it in practice every day.
“I think we’re all mental,” Henderson said about his team’s rhythm this season. “It seems like we get something going our way and then one bad play lets the momentum go to the other team. … It’s (about) how you respond after something negative happens. We’ve already shown fourth quarter that we got some fight in us but I want to see it all four quarters when that negative play happens. That’s what needs to happen.”
Just last week against Tiftarea, an interception thrown in the red zone completely changed the game. Tiftarea went on to score on the ensuing drive and made the score 14-7 instead of the possible 21-0 that Valwood would’ve had if they scored.
The good thing about the Creekside game is that it’s at a good time.
Now in the middle of their season, the Valiants can use this game to get on a roll and finish strong. After playing five straight nail-biters, a lopsided win might be what the doctor ordered for Valwood.
The Valiants still have a high ceiling and their sights glued on the state championship, so finding a rhythm is what they’ll need to get to where they want to be.
On paper, Creekside is a game that looks like a clean-cut win for the Valiants but after their game against Heritage, that’s hard to predict with confidence. Valwood slipped past Heritage in a 22-21 win and that game saw plenty of adversity.
Valwood jumped out to an early 12-0 lead and the injury to quarterback Zach Paulk suddenly stopped the momentum. That misfortune kept it a close game and luckily for Valwood, Heritage missed the game-winning field goal.
Creekside is entering this game without a win and is expecting to upset Valwood. The players are aware of this and they’re not entering this game any differently form the rest.
“The expectations are really high,” said junior Javan Wright. “We’re not going to doubt this team at all. It is there Super Bowl so we have to go out there 100% like any game and get the win.”
Wright is a fresh addition to Valwood’s roster, he made the transition to the team just before the deadline and he’s excited to be playing at Valwood. He’s a speedy athlete that is listed as a free safety and slot back but will probably see other positions on the field due to his athleticism and the injuries to the roster.
A couple starting players will be sidelined against Creekside this Friday, which is an obstacle Valwood is adapting to because of the low number of players. Injuries can’t be predicted but they can be prepared for by having the next man ready, something Valwood has done a good job on so far.
Valwood will hit the road this Friday to McDonough and face Creekside at 7:30 p.m.