“We’re excited to be moving on and excited to be facing another familiar foe,” said Springfield coach Maurice Douglass. “We saw them four or five weeks ago. It’s two really good teams and programs going at it again so we’re excited about the opportunity to play them.”
Last year, Springfield knocked the Elks out of the playoffs with a 42-14 win in the regional semifinals. This season in Week 8, the Wildcats fell to Centerville 24-16 — and haven’t lost since.
“We know we didn’t play well the last game or at least we didn’t play as well as we needed to,” Douglass said. “We want to go out there and have a better showing for ourselves this time.”
The Wildcats turned the ball over five times in the loss to Centerville. In their three-game winning streak, they’ve had just one turnover.
“We’ve been playing really complimentary football,” Douglass said. “We’ve been creating turnovers, getting three-and-outs and getting the ball back to our offense on short fields. We’ve been doing a great job in the kicking phase as well. We’ve won the turnover battle and we’ve been doing well field position wise. We’ve been able to get short fields for our offense without having to get 70, 80 yards.”
Springfield has relied on its running game each of the last three weeks. The Wildcats are averaging more than 200 rushing yards per game during its three-game winning streak.
“We’re running the ball really well right now and we’re able to throw it a little bit, maybe not as much as people would like at times, but we’re able to run the ball consistently and that helps us from a defensive standpoint because we don’t have to be on the field,” Douglass said.
Defensively, the Wildcats are allowing a league-low 201 yards per game.
They’ll look to stop a Centerville offensive unit that beat Olentangy Orange 23-6 in a first-round game.
“We have to do a much better job of putting our guys in the right spot to be successfully both defensively and offensively,” Douglass said.
After a 2-4 start, Springfield is peaking at the right time. The Wildcats hope to ride that momentum deep into the postseason for the fifth straight year.
“We’re right where we want to be,” Douglass said. “We’re right there.”
OHSAA REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
Friday, Nov. 3
Division I, Region 2
No. 12 Springfield at No. 4 Centerville
Division IV, Region 16
No. 15 Urbana at No. 7 Shawnee
Division V, Region 20
No. 7 Northeastern at No. 2 Waynesville
Division VI, Region 24
No. 5 Tri-Village at No. 4 West Liberty-Salem
Division VII, Region 28
No. 10 Mechanicsburg at No. 2 Ansonia
No. 8 Cedarville at No. 1 Marion Local