GREENSBURG – Sometimes all it takes is a few seconds to open the floodgates.
Springfield found out in a not-so-good way in Friday’s District 8-2A game with St. Helena.
The Class 2A No. 10 Hawks scored on consecutive plays as part of a 22-point second quarter, keying a 45-0 romp over the Bulldogs.
“A lot of Murphy’s Law happened tonight,” Springfield coach Ryan Serpas said. “It was a bad game from the get-go. I don’t think it was very well-officiated.
“Things kind of got ugly, and there was no control. Unfortunately, all I can do is call the officials’ association and try to let them hear my complaints, but I’m sure it’s going to be like every other complaint I’ve had – no response, and I’ve just got to deal with it. It’s very unfortunate for our kids that we’re dealt and treated just like this every week.”
St. Helena’s second-quarter surge started Deshon Singleton hit Jency Riley on a 10-yard TD pass, and the Bulldogs stuffed the run on the 2-point try, giving the Hawks a 12-0 lead.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Timothy Hill stripped Mikayl Young and brought it back 30 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion pass from Matthew Claiborne to Darien Pea pushed the lead to 20-0.
“That’s another unfortunate call,” Serpas said. “My kid is sitting there. He had finished fighting for yards. He went back five yards, and then the strip happened, and they allowed the strip to be live and they call a touchdown for them. At that point, it was a two-score game and they turned it into a three-score game. You had an official standing right over that, and it’s very unfortunate that the game was called that way.”
Springfield (3-4 1-3) punted, and Mikayl Young intercepted Singleton to stop the next St. Helena drive.
The Bulldogs, however, lost running back John’L Fryson to an ankle injury on the ensuing drive, which ended in a punt, setting up St. Helena’s third touchdown of the second quarter.
“We sent him to the hospital to be evaluated,” Serpas said of Fryson, who finished with 60 yards rushing on 11 carries and was one of three running backs, along with Arshun Andrews and Nick Macaluso, to exit the game with injuries. “Hopefully it’s nothing to serious. He’s a resilient kid, and he’s been kind of banged up all year long. Hopefully it’s nothing too major and we can get him back.”
St. Helena (6-1, 4-0) then went 66 yards in seven plays, highlighted by a 34-yard pass from Singleton to Claiborne, setting up a juggling 15-yard catch in the end zone from Singleton to Matthew Martin. The two-point conversion extended the lead to 28-0 at halftime.
The Hawks scored on their second drive of the game when Singleton busted a 47-yard keeper over the left side for a 6-0 lead.
“They’re very explosive and have a lot of play-makers," Serpas said. "It’s something we worked on. We knew the zone read, and we knew he was going to eventually pull it. We had a bad read by one of our safeties on that play. He pulled it, and the safety vacated the area, and there was really nobody there to stop him.”
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, struggled to get anything going, notching five first downs and losing a fumble on their best drive of the half at the Hawk 41. Springfield punted four times in the first half and had 49 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs finished the game with 88 yards of total offense and six first downs.
“It was definitely hard to establish a rhythm,” Serpas said. “We knew that they were going to be physical defensively, and we were going to have to try to do some things and be able to be more aggressive up front. Sometimes we were able to get out there. We just didn’t have the big home run guy to be able to get the ball to whenever we did get the ball on the edge.”
St. Helena scored again on its first drive of the second half, going 65 yards in five plays. The key play was a 42-yard pass from Singleton to Claiborne to the Springfield 20, which set up Claiborne’s 5-yard TD run three plays later for a 35-0 lead.
“That was a situation where the play clock had been on zero for five second and there was no delay of game,” Serpas said. “I’m sitting there calling delay of game. Our kids were looking up like the play was already over and waiting for the flag and about to start walking back, and all of a sudden, they snap the ball and go in for a touchdown. Not to say that they wouldn’t have had a chance to score there anyway, but it’s another thing where it’s very unfortunate coming out of halftime after I just complained about all these issues we were having.”
After a Springfield punt, Claiborne’s 44-yard line-drive field goal capped an 11-play drive and pushed the lead to 38-0.
St. Helena’s Biron Brumfield blocked Colten Davis' punt on the ensuing drive and returned it to the Springfield 12, setting up Tyler Wilson’s 5-yard TD run to cap the scoring with 8:50 to play.
ST. HELENA 45, SPRINGFIELD 0
SHC 6 22 10 7 -- 45
SPRING 0 0 0 0 -- 0
SHC – Deshon Singleton 47 run (kick failed)
SHC – Jency Riley 10 pass from Singleton (run failed)
SHC – Timothy Hill 30 fumble return (Darien Pea pass from Matthew Caliborne)
SHC – Michael Martin 15 pass from Singleton (Claiborne run)
SHC – Claiborne 5 run (Claiborne kick)
SHC – Claiborne 44 FG
SHC – Tyler Wilson 5 run (Claiborne kick)
6 First Downs 17
30-54 Rushes-yards 28-182
34 Passing yards 130
4-7-0 C-A-I 8-14-1
4-2 Fumbles-lost 1-0
5-36.4 Punts-Avg. 1-43
3-20 Penalties-yards 3-25