High school football: Springfield tops Wayne in GWOC opener, remains unbeaten

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer sees a faster game standing in the pocket than he did playing for Division VI Arcanum. Wayne ran him down in the backfield and sacked him five times Friday night.

But the rest of the game? That wasn’t too fast for Schondelmyer. He led the No. 8 Wildcats on three first-half touchdown drives and to a 21-7 victory on the opening night of Greater Western Ohio Conference play.

“There’s a lot of differences – obviously I’ve never played in an atmosphere like this,” Schondelmyer said pointing to the stands that had been full. “And then everything happens a lot quicker. There’s things you can get away with at the smaller school level that you can’t get away with here.“

Schondelmyer had an all-state season as a junior leading Arcanum to an 8-3 record. He threw for 3,278 yards and 45 touchdowns. He came to Division I Springfield (3-0) to compete at a higher level and show college coaches what he could do against stronger competition. On Friday he completed 21 of 29 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns.

“He came in with a leader mindset,” said wide receiver Anthony Brown, who is committed to Kentucky and caught seven passes for 108 yards Friday. “I think that was the biggest thing for him, and all he had to do was get comfortable in the offense and do what he does.”

Schondelmyer completed 13 of 17 passes in the first half for 165 yards. Daylen Bradley caught touchdown passes of 2 and 14 yards and Shawn Thigpen caught a 5-yard TD pass.

“When we go empty, I’ve got five weapons that I know are capable of making big plays,” Schondelmyer said. “So it’s not me thinking about I’m going get this guy the ball here. I’m going to find who’s open and get them the ball and they understand that. We’ve got a lot of dudes.”

Springfield coach Maurice Douglass spent the past three seasons watching Te’Sean Smoot run the offense as a passer and the team’s leading rusher. It’s different with Schondelmyer not being the runner Smoot was, but he likes what he’s seeing from the passing game.

“He’s done a good job of leading the group, and the kids love him,” Douglass said.

The Wildcats have a young offensive line and are struggling to run the ball effectively. They rushed for a combined 73 yards in the first two games and 50 on Friday. Schondelmyer is seeing defenses often drop eight defenders into coverage.

“When teams can just drop everyone in coverage it takes takes away a lot of our pass game,” he said. “So if we can establish that run, keeps those linebackers in there, it opens up everything else. You’ve got to have a little bit of both.”

Wayne (2-2) took an early 7-0 lead on Tyrell Lewis’ 12-yard touchdown pass to Teaunn Hunter. From there the Warriors moved the ball into Springfield territory several times and got a great chance off a turnover. But they turned the ball over on downs several times and missed two field goals.

“You got to give them credit, they took advantage of their opportunities,” Wayne coach Roosevelt Mukes said. “They made plays when the had to and we didn’t.”

Lewis, a sophomore, entered the game with over 700 passing yards in three games. But Springfield cornerbacks Aaron Scott and Tyron Barnes and safeties Tyrone Myers and Teryon Holt blanketed Lewis’ receivers and held him to 67 yards and only nine completions in 32 attempts.

Scott, a 6-foot-1 junior and four-star prospect with an Ohio State offer, had an interception and held Wayne leading receiver R.J. Mukes to one catch.

“Coach told me to follow him and make sure he didn’t get the ball,” Scott said. “And that’s what I did. I think we’ve got the best defense in Ohio.”

About the Author