Explosive offense powers unbeaten Springfield to rout of Centerville

In accumulating a who’s who of victims this season, the Springfield High School football team has downed schools from Cincinnati (Fairfield), Columbus (Lancaster) and Cleveland (Hudson).

Friday the Wildcats added Dayton to their locales conquered.

PHOTOS: Springfield vs. Centerville

“I feel that there’s not many schools in Ohio that can handle us across the field and defend everything,” Springfield head coach Maurice Douglass said. “For years we had one guy. Now we have guys at every position. It’s going to be hard to stop us.”

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Centerville agrees. Completely.

Behind an offensive avalanche, Springfield remained unbeaten with a dominating 49-6 win over the host Elks in the Greater Western Ohio Conference National East opener for both.

The victory was the Wildcats (4-0, 1-0) second straight in Centerville Stadium and just their third overall in the last 11 meetings with the Elks (since 2008).

Centerville dropped to 0-4 (0-1) for the first time since 2001.

The 43-point margin of victory was Centerville’s most lopsided loss since at least 1973 (according to centervilleelksfootball.com) and it was just the third time in the last 45 years that the Elks lost by 40-plus points. Centerville fell to Wayne 48-7 in 2001 and Princeton 45-3 in 1988.

“When I took the job here five years ago this is what I expected,” Douglass said. “I expected to be on this level and compete with people nationally. I knew they had the kids (in Springfield). It was just getting them all to buy in and be a brotherhood. They’ve gotten it. They’re unified.”

Said junior running back Tavion Smoot: “We’re gathering together. We’re clicking and competing every day.”

Last season, Centerville led Springfield 17-0 at halftime. This year it trailed 42-6.

The Wildcats, ahead 14-6 after the first quarter, exploded for 28 second-quarter points. The catalyst was a three-pronged attack led by Smoot, fellow junior running back Jeff Toliver and senior quarterback Raheim Moss.

Springfield tallied 528 yards of offense. Smoot, Toliver and Moss accounted for 469 of it on the ground.

The outburst was somewhat of a surprise considering the Wildcats had scored a season-high 20 points in their win over Lancaster.

Moss credited the unit getting healthy and the return of lineman Alex Temple as “missing pieces to the puzzle.”

Moss carried the ball 10 times for 160 yards and three touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass to Moses Douglass. Toliver ran for 145 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, while Smoot added 164 yards on 12 carries.

Springfield entered the game with the GWOC’s top offense (397 yards per game), but had failed to produce in the red zone the first three weeks. The Wildcats didn’t need the red zone Friday. Springfield scored on plays of 80, 69, 60, 48 and 24 yards.

“It’s great,” Smoot said. “They don’t know which one (of us) they’re going to get hit with.”

Said Toliver: “It’s hard to stop us.”

Centerville, which had 19 yards rushing on 18 attempts at half, played both senior Tyler King and freshman Chase Harrison at quarterback. The Elks lone score came on a 13-yard pass from Harrison to JR Melzer in the first quarter. Centerville managed 140 total yards.

Next week the Elks travel to Springboro (1-3) where they will try to avoid the program’s first 0-5 start since at least 1971.

Springfield is at Lebanon (3-1).

“We have something to prove to the whole city this year,” Moss said. “We want to show people who Springfield is.”

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