Springfield vs St. Thomas Aquinas football

The Springfield High football team takes on St. Thomas Aquinas in a clash of District 10-2A teams on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021.

Springfield didn’t win its Class 2A football playoff opener, but Bulldogs coach Ryan Serpas is hoping the Bulldogs can use the contest as a learning experience for the future.

The Bulldogs fell behind and never recovered in a 54-6 loss to North Caddo on Friday.

“They were real aggressive, just like we thought they would be,” Springfield coach Ryan Serpas said, noting the Bulldogs were missing ‘four or five’ players to injuries or disciplinary issues. “We knew that there would be some opportunities for us. I just think that with our depleted personnel, it kind of put us in a position where some of our kids just couldn’t make plays. There were opportunities for us, especially the way they were playing as aggressive as they are. We couldn’t take advantage of it with what we were trying to do.

“It’s something that we’ve got to hopefully try to get a little deeper and get some of our kids to be better playmakers,” Serpas continued. “If we can get to that point, I think that we’ll have opportunities whenever we play aggressive teams like that to be able to hold our own a little better.”

North Caddo put together a nine-play scoring drive to open the game.

From there, Springfield picked up five first downs while working its way into North Caddo territory. But on third and long, the Bulldogs threw an interception.

“We came out early defensively and did exactly what we wanted making them earn their way down the field, and they did that,” Serpas said. “And then offensively, we did a good job of stringing together some first downs and making some plays, but we kind of choked out and couldn’t get things going.”

Two plays later, North Caddo scored on a long touchdown pass, helping push the lead to 16-0.

Two plays into the next Springfield possession, the Bulldogs threw a pick-six, extending the advantage to 22-0.

“That was kind of the morale killer right there,” Serpas said. “Being down 22-0 right there at the end of the first quarter, you could tell our kids were starting to lose any type of momentum that we had. At that point, it was just trying to correct some mistakes and get them back to being competitive.”

Springfield’s next drive ended on downs at the North Caddo 40, and four plays later, the Titans busted a 40-yard touchdown run, helping push the lead to 30-0.

A 55-yard TD run and two point conversion made the score 38-0 at halftime

The Bulldogs went three and out to open the second half, and North Caddo scored on a 1five yard run, stretching the lead to 46-0.

Springfield got its only touchdown of the game on a 30-yard pass from Luke Husser to Ayden McAlister. The two-point conversion failed, making the score 46-6.

“I’m glad we were able to get on the board,” Serpas said. “Britton (Allen) had quite a few catches on the night, which were big plays for us like he’s always done, and then we were able to hit Ayden right up the seam to get into the end zone there. I thought we’ve progressed a lot in our offense and the things we’ve been able to do with Luke (Husser), and I thought for a freshman, it’s asking a lot to come in and be a varsity quarterback, I thought he did a pretty good job and responded well. It gives us something to build on in the future.”

North Caddo returned the ensuing kickoff 64 yards for a touchdown for the final points.

“We did a bad job of containing,” Serpas said. “We tried to corner that ball in on our kickoffs to put it to where the team really has a minimal chance to return, and we just did a bad job of containing on the backside there, and they were able to squirt out the back side of it and break a long run. We’ve got a couple kids banged up, so we were kind of depleted personnel wise as well. We had some people out there who hadn’t really practiced a whole lot at doing some of that stuff, but it is what it is. Those kids have to understand the urgency of trying to pin down that kick in that corner there, and we just couldn’t do it.”

Serpas thanked the Bulldogs’ senior class of Rick Vicknair, Seth Grand, Allen and Dorian Burise for their contributions to the program and its future.

“I just want to thank that senior group for getting us back into the playoffs and hopefully helping create a better culture for our football team and helping us get to where we need to be at to be back to being a competitive program again, and I think we’re heading on the right track,” Serpas said. “A lot of it’s because of the foundation of those four seniors that we had this year.”

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