Whitmer drove nearly three hours to Springfield for the first round playoff game and they weren’t going to leave Clark County without a fight. The Panthers recovered two onside kicks in the first half to take a 14-7 lead into the locker room. They used a ball control offense, holding Springfield’s offense to just one possession of 3 minutes and 30 seconds in the first half.
“They had a great game plan,” Douglass said. “They did a lot of good things. We’re just happy to be moving on.”
Smoot scored on a 9-yard run in the third quarter to tie the score at 14. After a field goal by the Panthers, Smoot scored on a 21-yard run to give Springfield the lead for good.
Barnes added a 7-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The Panthers outgained the Wildcats 269-251 and had four drives of 10 or more plays. Springfield’s big play offense was the difference, averaging 11.14 per play.
“Our guys were resilient,” Douglass said. “They did a good job and didn’t fold. God is good and he gave us another week.”
He hopes the close call will serve as a wake-up call to his young team. The Wildcats are a different group than the one who advanced to the state semifinals last season.
“We’ve got a lot of kids that weren’t here last year,” Douglass said. “This group is a totally different group that’s making this run and they’ve got to play like that.”