Gordon Central and Coahulla Creek have a lot in common as they enter their Week 6 matchup.
Both teams are very young with inexperienced players filling in key positions, each has not had a lot go their way in the first half of the season and each need a win in a very bad way.
The showdown between the Warriors (0-5, 0-2) and the Colts (1-4, 0-2) will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Coahulla Creek’s relatively new complex, and Gordon Central coach David Humphreys, who is in his first season with the Warriors, said he knows how important this game is.
“Our whole deal is that some good things need to happen for us and our kids,” said Humphreys. “They’ve worked extremely hard and done everything we’ve asked them to do, and we just haven’t been able to get a lot of positive things going so far.
“Getting a win up there would be huge for us.”
A loss for either team would go a long way in knocking them out of any shot of one of the four playoff berths in Region 5-AAA, but neither are looking that far ahead right now. Each are focused on the task at hand on Friday.
For Gordon Central, that means preparing for a diverse attack from the Colts on both sides of the ball.
“They do a lot and line up in a lot of different ways on offense, and they have shown several different fronts on defense,” said Humphreys. “We’re going to prepare for that, but I’ve told our guys that we need to focus more on us. We’ve got to cut down on our mistakes. We’ve been making some big ones and shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Gordon Central is coming off a 23-0 loss to LFO last Friday in which they made several of those mistakes that Humphreys was talking about. They turned the ball over three times and had 70 yards in penalties in the loss.
“The penalty bug hit us, and there were some pretty bad calls that hurt us,” said Humphreys. “On defense, (LFO) hurt us on the first drive, but after that we settled down and played pretty well on that side of the ball.
“The bottom line for us is that we have to be more productive on offense. We haven’t been doing enough as far as having success there and putting ourselves in position to score points.”
One of the bright spots for the Warriors last Friday was the return of standout linebacker Nate Mays from an ankle injury. Mays looked to be close to fully healthy as he was flying around and making plays all over the field for the Gordon Central defense.
On the other side of the ball, Noah Bingiel had a solid game in the backfield, rushing for 73 yards on nine carries, including a 53-yard scamper on his first carry of the night in the first quarter.
Humphreys said in order to get a win on Friday, there are a couple big keys on both sides of the ball.
“We’ve got to control the line of scrimmage on offense,” said Humphreys. “We haven’t done that a lot so far. On defense, we have to get off the field on third downs.
“If we do that, I think we’ll have a good opportunity to compete for a win on Friday.”
This is a must-win for the Warriors. With some good teams still on the region schedule, a loss to a struggling Coahulla Creek team, which is in their second year of varsity football, would not set Gordon Central up for a very good finish to the season.
Last year, the Warriors dominated the Colts in every aspect of the game for a 46-0 win. This is certainly not the same Gordon Central team, but still, they should have enough talent to beat Coahulla Creek.
Look for the Warriors to get that ugly zero out of the win column on Friday.
Score: GC wins, 21-16.