Springfield coach Ryan Serpas knew his team would need a win to secure a playoff spot.
After Friday night, the Bulldogs may not be in the 32-team field when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association releases its playoff pairings Sunday.
Northlake Christian held Springfield without a first down in the first half in building a big lead at halftime on its way to a 31-7 win in Covington.
“Obviously, I think that we’re responsible for where we’re at, and unfortunately, I think we’re on the outside looking in, and you end a season of high expectations with not even making the playoffs,” Serpas said. “It’s very disappointing for our kids who worked hard and put a lot into this season and tried to just be the best football team we could possibly be. It’s the circumstances we were dealt. We weren’t able to overcome them, and at the end of the day, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
Northlake got rolling early after recovering an onside kick to open the game, which the Wolverines (5-5, 2-1) turned into a touchdown after a 10-play drive for a 7-0 lead.
“We prepared for the on-side kick,” Serpas said. “We knew that was a possibility. Our kid was right there. I feel and believe that their guy touched it early and that was the first, opening play of the game that’s going to happen, and you’re not getting those calls from that point on. It’s something that weighs on your kids’ minds, and it’s just one of those things that it’s hard to overcome.”
“The defense did a good job of stuffing them,” Serpas said. “Just finally we kind of cracked, and they were able to go up 7-0.”
After a three-and-out from the Bulldogs, (4-6, 1-2), the Wolverines scored another touchdown for a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Northlake recovered a Springfield fumble on the first play of the Bulldogs’ second drive of the second quarter, turning it into another touchdown for a 21-0 lead.
The Wolverines led 28-0 at halftime with a late touchdown in the second quarter.
“First half-wise, they completely shut us down offensively,” Serpas said. “We had no answers, didn’t get a first down the entire first half and really put our defense in bad situations.”
Springfield’s only touchdown came on a 20-yard pass from Bryan Babb to Bradlyn McKay, which cut the lead to 28-7.
Serpas praised the play of Koby Linares, who ran for over 100 yards and had an interception.
“I thought that he ran the ball very hard the second half,” Serpas said after Linares had 20 yards rushing in the first half. “Did a good job of being able to get us some momentum in that second half, but it’s just one of those things where you’re down and you find yourself trying to overcome a bunch of negative plays to start a game, and you’re just kind of trying to dig yourself out of that hole and it just starts seeming to get deeper and deeper.”
Northlake capped the scoring with field goal following a Springfield turnover.