Springfield shuts out Dublin Jerome to advance to Sweet 16

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield High School football team is one step closer to Canton.

Senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot threw four touchdown passes and ran for another as second-seeded Springfield beat seventh-seeded Dublin Jerome 34-0 in a Division I, Region 2 quarterfinal game on Friday night in Springfield.

Smoot went 17-for-23 for 263 yards through the air and rushed for 112 yards on 16 carries as Springfield won its third straight game.

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Junior wide receiver Daylen Bradley caught eight passes for 142 yards and two TDs, while junior Anthony Brown and senior Dominic Turner also caught TD passes for the Wildcats (10-1). Defensively, Wildcats junior Jaivian Norman had a sack and an interception, while junior Tawfig Jabbar also had a sack.

“We’re not thrilled with the first half, but we’re glad to be moving on and trying to accomplish our goal,” said Wildcats coach Maurice Douglass.

The Wildcats struggled in the first half, turning the ball over three times. Springfield took a 6-0 lead on an 11-yard run by Smoot with 1:15 remaining in the first quarter. They increased the lead to 13-0 when Smoot hit Bradley on a 23-yard TD pass with 2:31 remaining in the half.

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The Celtics threatened late in the first half after a 58-yard run by Jesse Everhart, but Springfield held on fourth down from its 5-yard line with about 20 seconds remaining. Dublin Jerome wouldn’t move into Springfield territory again until late in the fourth quarter.

“We just did what we’ve been taught to do,” Douglass said. “In the first half, we were overpursuing a lot and (Everhart) got the cutback run on us, which was a big run for them. We maintained our gap responsibilities in the second half and paid attention to detail.”

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

In the third quarter, Springfield started firing on all cylinders. Smoot hit Bradley on a 23-yard TD pass, then hit Brown on a 30-yard TD pass to make it 27-0. Smoot found Turner on a 7-yard TD pass to make it 34-0 and send the senior class off with the victory in their final home game.

“I’m happy to win for the seniors, got a chance to get them a W at home and send’em off right,” Douglass said.

The Wildcats advanced to the regional semifinals — the state’s version of the Sweet 16 — for the fourth straight season, but they won’t look ahead, said Wildcats senior defensive tackle Tywan January. The goal is to go 1-0 next week, he said.

“... It’s on to the next,” January said. “We’ve got to go to practice and lock in.”

The Wildcats will face sixth-seeded Findlay in a Region 2 semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, at a site to be determined. The Trojans (9-3) beat Dublin Coffman 38-8 in the quarterfinals, earning their seventh straight victory. Marysville (11-0) will face Toledo Whitmer (10-2) in the other Region 2 semifinal. Neutral sites will be released on Sunday afternoon by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

“It’s going to be a nice test for us,” Douglass said.

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