The Springfield Wildcats are jumping for joy these days — literally in the case of junior cornerback Kendric Holt.
Holt did a series of backflips on the turf at Evans Stadium on Friday after a 35-7 victory against Xenia. He does this every time Springfield wins, coach Maurice Douglass said, and that means he has done it six times in 2018. The last remaining undefeated team in the Great Western Ohio Conference and in Clark County reached 6-0 in style with its second dominant victory in a row.
Springfield hopes Holt keeps flipping for weeks to come.
“He’s one of the freakiest athletes on the team,” Douglass said.
Holt made a great play to come up with an interception late in the game. It was one of many big plays by the Wildcats.
Raheim Moss threw three touchdown passes: one for 7 yards to Tavion Smoot to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead in the first quarter; one for 77 yards to Michael Brown-Stephens to push the lead to 12-0; and one for 15 yards to Moses Douglass on the first drive of the second half to extend a 15-7 halftime advantage to 22-7.
Brown-Stephens also scored on a 16-yard run in the third quarter. He has three touchdowns on the season, but Maurice Douglass said he has scored four other times only to have them called back because of penalties.
On the 77-yard touchdown, Brown-Stephens said the Wildcats saw Xenia was playing single coverage.
“To us, that’s pretty disrespectful,” Brown-Stephens said. “We have a pretty fast receiver corps. We took advantage of that, ran a post across the space. Raheim just had to put it where it supposed to be. I did the rest.”
Xenia fell to 3-3 with its second loss in a row and third loss to Springfield in the last three seasons. The Buccaneers turned the ball over twice in the first half but were still in the game at halftime after cutting the deficit to 15-7 with a 1-yard run by Sincere Wells with 3:13 left in the second quarter.
Springfield’s first drive of the second half set the tone for the rest of the game. Moses Douglass scored just minutes after being named homecoming king at halftime.
“That was huge,” Maurice Douglass said. “We needed that right there just to get it back where we were in the first half.”
Springfield is 6-0 five years after finishing 1-9. Prior to this season, no Springfield team since the merger of North and South high schools in 2008 had ever been 4-0, much less 5-0 and now 6-0.
“The biggest difference between this team and the past teams is we’re a lot more focused and more selfless,” Brown-Stephens said. “We all want each other to eat, and when we’re grinding it shows.”
Springfield has outscored opponents 163-51. The last two weeks at Evans Stadium, it has routed Lebanon and Xenia by a combined 63-7 margin.
“On defense, we take everything serious,” lineman Isaiah Gibson said. “On offense, everyone comes to work. The offensive line, we’re ready to work and our running backs are committed. Everybody’s committed. We’re all buying in.”