Smoot leads Springfield past Wayne, into regional semifinals

Wildcats advance to face Northmont

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield High School football team is back in the Division I, Region 2 semifinals for the third straight season.

Wildcats junior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as Springfield blew past Wayne 31-19 in a Division I, Region 2 quarterfinal game in Springfield.

Smoot went 16-for-27 for 260 yards and three TDs and two interceptions and rushed 21 times for 149 yards and a TD as the Wildcats (7-1) won their fourth straight game. Dovon Williams, Shawn Thigpen and Anthony Brown all caught TD passes for Springfield.

Springfield trailed 13-10 at the half, but outscored the Warriors 21-6 in the second half to earn the playoff victory.

“It’s a 48-minute game,” said Wildcats coach Maurice Douglass. “The kids did a great job of being resilient. They kept battling. That’s all you can ask them to do is battle and they did that. The one good thing about the (Greater Western Ohio Conference) is that it will get you prepared for the playoffs. Our guys did a great job of executing today.”

Springfield will face unbeaten Northmont (8-0) in a Region 2 semifinal game next Friday in Clayton. The Thunderbolts beat the Wildcats 38-35 on Sept. 18. Northmont beat Marysville 48-41 on Friday night.

Smoot found Williams for a 45-yard TD pass on the second play of the game and Cole Yost hit a 32-yard field goal on the Wildcats second possession to give Springfield a 10-0 first quarter lead.

The rest of the first half belonged to Wayne. Defensive lineman Jerrod Couch intercepted a screen pass and returned it 24 yards to the Springfield 1-yard line. Running back Tyler Dorsey scored on the next play to make it 10-7.

On Springfield’s next possession, Wayne linebacker Adam Trick intercepted Smoot to give the ball back to the Warriors offense. A few plays later, Wayne kicker Justin Doan hit a 20-yard field goal to tie the score at 10.

Springfield drove the ball into Wayne territory on its next possession, but Jack Tabor recovered a fumble for the Warriors. The ensuing drive finished with another 31-yard field goal by Doan.

“We’ve got to capitalize mistakes and turnovers when we get them,” said Warriors coach Roosevelt Mukes. “We can’t settle for field goals, but you’ve got to get points on the board when you play a team that explosive. You have to give Springfield credit. They made plays when they had to.”

The second half belonged to Smoot and the Wildcats. The junior hit Thigpen on a 21-yard TD pass with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter to give Springfield the lead for good.

Early in the fourth quarter, Smoot found Brown on a 57-yard TD pass to make it 24-13.

Wayne scored on a 4-yard run by Jordan Ward with 6:52 remaining, but the extra point kick was blocked.

The Wildcats scored on an 8-yard run by Smoot with 2:14 remaining to seal the victory.

“(Smoot) did a great job of being resilient and fighting through it,” Douglass said. “You’ve just gotta keep making plays. He did a great job of that today.”

Springfield wracked up 508 yards of total offense, while the Wildcats defense held the Warriors to 150 yards of total offense.

“The No. 1 thing today was to stop the run,” Douglass said. “They’re the No. 1 offense in the GWOC and a lot of that is predominantly their run game. We did a great job of stopping that and we wanted to make them throw the ball.”

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