SPRINGFIELD – All things considered, it wasn’t a bad night for Springfield in its football scrimmage with Central Private.
The Bulldogs scored in almost every session of the scrimmage and came up with some key defensive stops at Springfield High on Friday.
”I’m very pleased with the outcome,” Springfield coach Ryan Serpas said. “There’s always some things that you can work on and clean up and get better, but it’s nice to finally get to hit somebody else and really see how the kids, whenever they’re challenged, respond to it. I thought the response was really good.”
Central Private’s first-team offense ended its first series with a 36-yard touchdown run, and the Bulldogs were unable to score on their first series.
Springfield’s Nace DeMars recovered a fumble to end a drive by Central Private’s second-team offense, allowing Springfield’s second team to go on a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive.
Jaden Morris had a 27-yard run, setting up Rick Vicknair’s 9-yard TD run and Olivia Davis’ PAT.
“I thought that they did a great job and showed that they can help contribute,” Serpas said of his second-team unit. “That’s the thing at the 2A level, more kids that you can have contribute, I think the more successful that you can be come Friday night, and a lot of those kids have shown the ability to absorb everything that we’re giving them. We’re just going to keep giving them those opportunities to be successful, and that helps our kids stay healthy as well.”
Springfield’s first-team offense maintained the momentum with Trevon Washington breaking loose on a 65-yard TD run down the right sideline on the first play of the Bulldogs’ next possession, with Davis tacking on the PAT.
“It wasn’t the right hole, but I saw an opening, and I just shot through,” Washington said of the run. “I just shot through and kicked on the jets. That was it.”
Springfield continued the possession with Bryan Babb hitting Nilan Pinestraw on a 34-yard pass and Washington for 24 yards, setting up Koby Linares’ 5-yard TD run.
“It’s definitely a lot different than what we’ve had in the past,” Serpas said. “We’ve got more of that quick-strike ability. We still have a power-run game, but adding a kid like Trevon, and then Babb’s doing a great job of getting other guys the ball as well. Nilan made a great catch on the sideline – a deep pass. Spreading the ball around, trying to get multiple people involved. It’s a good thing, and the kids have taken pride in it, and it’s really showing.”
Tyler Ratcliff’s interception ended the ensuing Central Private drive, and Springfield’s Seth Grand threw an interception while leading the Bulldogs’ second-teamers. Morris also had an interception to stop a drive by the Central Private second-teamers.
In the red zone portion, Springfield’s first-team defense held Central Private scoreless on four plays from the Bulldog 10-yard line.
The Bulldogs had better success as Babb connected with Isaiah Netter on a 10-yard TD pass on first down and Tylan Armstrong on a 10-yard TD pass three plays later.
During the timed portion of the scrimmage, Central Private put together a seven-play scoring drive, highlighted by a 37-yard pass from Cody Sharpe to Austin Bradford, setting up Sharpe’s 1-yard keeper for a touchdown followed by a failed two-point run attempt.
“I thought at times we played well,” Serpas said of the Bulldogs’ defensive effort. “I think towards the end, especially in the quarter period, we started to feel a little bit too comfortable with our situation, and instead of making sound plays, we started trying to make more highlight reel plays, and it cost us. But the kids kind of buckled down after that and did a good job of stopping them. I think there’s some things that we need to work on, on that side of the ball as well to try to get a little better, but I think I was pleased with the majority of what they did tonight.”
Springfield answered as Washington broke loose down the left sideline the cut back across the field on a 43-yard TD run.
“To be honest, I saw somebody coming for me,” Washington said. “I was hoping that I was going to cut and everything was going to good, and it did.”
Davis finished 4-for-4 on PATs.
“I think we had probably five or six different people score touchdowns tonight, and she got the loudest ovation for kicking an extra point,” Serpas said of Davis. “The crowd was really behind her and her little fan club. It was great for her, and great for the team.”
Central Private drove to the Springfield 45, but Washington intercepted Sharpe on fourth down to end the drive.
“I feel like there’s room for improvement, but as one, we’re doing good,” Washington said. “We’re doing good this year. I feel like we’re going to make a big impact on everything – the school, the team. I think we’re going to do good this year.”