Springfield routs Liberty for fourth straight regional title

Wildcats will face Moeller in Division I state semifinals next Friday

LONDON — The Springfield High School football program hoisted the Division I, Region 2 championship trophy for the fourth straight season.

Wildcats senior Bryce Schondelmyer went 26-for-29 for 278 yards and two touchdown passes and rushed for another touchdown as Springfield beat Olentangy Liberty 35-7 to win the Region 2 championship game on a frigid Friday night at London’s Bowlus Field.

The standards, however, have changed for the Wildcats. They’ve got bigger goals.

“It’s a great accomplishment, but I want to kick the door in and win state,” said Springfield senior wide receiver Anthony Brown, who caught nine passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.

ExplorePHOTOS: Springfield routs Olentangy Liberty

The Wildcats won their eighth straight game and improved to 12-1 overall. They advanced to play Cincinnati Moeller (13-1) in a rematch of last year’s state semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium. The Crusaders beat Lakota West 38-20 in the D-I, Region 4 championship game to advance.

With the victory, Springfield became the 25th program in Ohio history to advance to four straight state semifinals, according to the OHSAA unofficial record book.

“God is good, man,” said Springfield coach Maurice Douglass. “That’s all I can say about that. I’m excited and happy for the city. … Each week is a history moment and that’s what I told the guys before the game. Go enjoy it, make history today and continue to build things that you can have memories for a lifetime. Being able to watch those guys accomplish those things is a tremendous honor.”

Schondelmyer scored on a 1-yard run late in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. Wildcats junior running back Jayvin Norman scored on a 1-yard run midway through the second quarter to make it 14-0 at the half.

Schondelmyer found Brown on a 16-yard TD pass late in the third quarter to give Springfield a 21-0 lead.

The Patriots made it 21-7 when sophomore quarterback Andrew Leonard hit junior receiver Evan Nelson on a 24-yard TD pass.

Schondelmyer hit Da’Shawn Martin on a 1-yard TD pass with 7:57 remaining and sophomore running back Dada Owens scored on a 2-yard run with 1:05 remaining to start the Wildcats celebration.

“We did a good job of taking what they gave us,” Schondelmyer said. “We ran the ball, but we didn’t finish our drives early on and we’re gonna have to next week against Moeller. That’s a great football team and if we don’t take care of our opportunities, we’ll end up going home. We’ve got to take advantage of all of our opportunities.”

Norman led the Wildcats with 52 yards rushing, while senior wide receiver Daylen Bradley caught nine passes for 118 yards

Defensively, the Wildcats were able to get pressure on Leonard, tallying five sacks and seven tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Tawfig Jabbar and senior safety Teryon Holt each had interceptions for Springfield.

The Wildcats defensive ends — senior Robert Owens, Jr. and sophomore Jackson Heims — combined for 15 tackles, three sacks and three tackles for loss.

“Coach Smoot had to get on them a little bit, but once he did that, they just took it to another level,” Douglass said.

A year ago, Springfield came back from five points down in the fourth quarter to beat Moeller 22-21 to advance to their first-ever state championship game.

“It’s going to be a great challenge,” Douglass said “We just have to come to work next week and have a great week of preparation and we’ll see what happens on Friday night.”

About the Author