The Colonels scored 21 unanswered points to win going away, 38-10, at Creekview Friday.
"We had a great week of practice -- the kids, the coaches, the preparation," Cass coach Rick Casko said afterward. "We made a number of mistakes early ... and the kids didn't let it get 'em down. They kept hanging in there. Those mistakes we got 'em in early, but we eliminated them and we played better the ... rest of the game.
"I'm really pleased with the way the kids finished the football game."
Following an 11-play, 69-yard touchdown drive -- which made the score 17-10 after Grizzlies quarterback Cody Allen's 1-yard sneak -- the Colonels stood their ground the rest of the way.
When a fumbled snap ended Cass' first drive of the second half in Creekview territory, the Colonels' defense forced the Grizzlies into a three-and-out.
On Creekview's next possession, Cass recorded two tackles for loss once the Grizzlies crossed the 50-yard line, and the hosts ended up punting back to the Colonels.
Cass used Creekview's aggression to its advantage, with Elijah Windom setting up a screen pass to Michael Saunders, who picked up 37 yards to get the ball to the Grizzly 42.
After a 15-yard run by Saunders, who finished with 147 yards on 17 carries, Windom completed a 26-yard pass to Chad Taylor, with the receiver getting to the 1-yard line thanks to a bone-jarring block from fellow wide receiver Jay Stephens on Creekview's Nick Luly.
Windom executed a successful QB sneak to put the Colonels up 24-10 after Guadalupe Rangel's extra point with 9:43 left in the game.
Cass got the ball back less than 20 seconds later when the Colonels recovered a fumble by Grizzly running back Eric Smith at the 24.
Two plays later, Windom had his second TD pass of the game as Jordan Wright dove for a 16-yard catch with 8:33 remaining.
Creekview moved the ball all the way to Cass' 34 on its next drive, before an intentional grounding penalty and key defensive plays -- a crushing hit by cornerback Sam Taylor on Alex Tatum and Will Johnson batting down a fourth-down pass -- forced the Grizzlies to turn the ball over on downs.
The Colonels added their final score of the game around the two-and-a-half minute mark on Stephens' six-yard TD run on a reverse, a play that was helped by Saunders' 35-yard run a play earlier.
"Defensively, we played so, so well," Casko said. "We had a great game plan for 'em; we knew what they were doing."
On the other side of the ball, Cass displayed the type of balanced attack that has made it dangerous for much of the season.
"As you saw, (we were) well-rounded, we ran the ball real well, we threw the ball real well," said the eighth-year coach, who became Cass' all-time leader in wins. "Offensively, we really moved the football well. We did a lot of good things, and Michael allows us to do that. With his ability to run the football and then mixing it up with the pass, I think our balance really hurts you.
"And when Michael Saunders (gets) out in the open, the first guy doesn't tackle him," he added of his senior running back. "My hats off to Michael, he plays that way all the time. ... He has one speed; he goes 100 percent all the time.
"He deserved a game like this tonight."
Saunders had what Casko called an unfortunate fumble in the first quarter, which set up the Grizzlies' only points of the first half -- a 22-yard field by Tyler Hamilton with 7:13 left in the opening quarter.
But, the running back and his teammates responded.
"I challenged Michael before the game. I said, 'You're gonna have a night tonight,' and he did," Casko recalled.
Before Saunders and the rest of the Cass offense got started with its busy night -- seven first-half penalties slowed them -- it was actually Tarris Batiste who put his team ahead early on.
Fielding Donovan Deal's punt at his team's 46, the senior receiver slid up the middle of the field, put the shakes on a couple of would-be Grizzly tacklers and got out to the right sideline on his way to a 56-yard TD.
Rangel's extra point gave the Colonels a 7-3 lead with 2:16 in the first quarter.
Batiste, who also picked off Allen twice in the first half, wasn't done yet.
Near the top of the second quarter, he fielded Donovan's punt on the bounce, going up the sideline and coming close to breaking a tackle that would have set the stage for his second punt return TD.
Batiste's 31-yard return led to Saunders' 10-yard TD run with 10:58 before the half.
Cass got a 22-yard field goal by Rangel -- aided partly by two Creekview personal fouls -- with about three minutes prior to halftime for a 17-3 lead.
The Colonels (4-4, 4-4 Region 7-AAAA) host Chattahoochee (7-0, 7-0) Friday at Earl Cunningham Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
SCORING BY QUARTER
1 2 3 4 F
CAS 7 10 0 21 38
CRE 3 0 7 0 10
CRE -- Tyler Hamilton 22-yd FG, 7:13
CAS -- Tarris Batiste 56-yd punt return (Guadalupe Rangel kick), 2:16
CAS -- Michael Saunders 10-yd run (Rangel kick), 10:58
CAS -- Rangel 22-yd FG, 3:07
CRE -- Cody Allen 1-yd run (Hamilton kick), 8:06
CAS -- Elijah Windom 1-yd run (Rangel kick), 9:43
CAS -- Jordan Wright 16-yd pass from Windom (Rangel kick), 8:33
CAS -- Jay Stephens 6-yd run (Rangel kick), 2:33
1st downs 19 12
Rushes-yds 22-159 44-193
Passing yds 221 27
Comp-Att-Int 18-31-0 4-15-2
Total yds 380 220
Penalties 9-60 10-80
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1
Punts-yds 2-57 4-139
Rushing -- Cass: Michael Saunders 17-147-1, Jay Stephens 2-6-1, Elijah Windom 3-6-1; Creekview: Donovan Deal 10-77, Jay El-Amin 7-25, Eric Smith 6-24, Cody Allen 7-23-1, Will Kirby 6-22, Keith Woods 3-12, Malik Anderson 3-6, Dondrei Hubbard 2-4.
Passing -- Cass: Windom 18-31-221-2-0; Creekview: Allen 4-14-27-0-2, Hayden Hall 0-1-0-0-0.
Receiving -- Cass: Jordan Wright 6-79-1, Jozell Payne 6-68, Saunders 3-42, Chad Taylor 1-26, Miles Terrell 2-6; Creekview: Alex Tatum 3-25, El-Amin 1-2.