Springfield’s season opener canceled because of weather

Wildcats will now have an eight-game regular season.

PARMA — Saint Ignatius and Springfield football players groaned in frustration every time lightning struck Saturday night. Everyone waiting under the stands or in the press box didn’t have to see the lightning. The frustration of the players told them it had struck again.

The wait continued with the players almost getting to take the field to warm up at 8 p.m., an hour after the scheduled start. The lightning continued, even though the rain had slowed to a drizzle. The rules call for a 30-minute delay after every lightning strike, and it kept coming, resetting the clock time and time again.

Finally, at 9:16 p.m., Springfield’s season-opening game against Saint Ignatius was canceled.

At that point, if the lightning had stopped, which it hadn’t, the game wouldn’t have started until after 10 p.m. The game will not be made up Sunday because of the distance between the schools — Springfield would have had to drive north on two straight days — and the difficulty of finding a stadium on short notice.

Springfield, the state runner-up last fall and a state semifinalist the last three seasons, could not find an opponent for Week 2, so it will now open the season against Trotwood-Madison at home on Sept. 2. Trotwood-Madison opened the season Friday with a 39-16 loss to Winton Woods.

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This would have been the second straight meeting in Week 1 between Springfield and Saint Ignatius.

Springfield won 24-20 in Springfield in 2021 when Micah Johnson picked off a pass by Saint Ignatius quarterback Joey Pfaff along the sideline in front of the Saint Ignatius bench and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown. The score gave the Wildcats a 24-20 lead with 2 minutes, 57 seconds to play.

Springfield finished 13-2 last season and made its first state championship game appearance, losing 23-13 to St. Edward. Saint Ignatius, an 11-time state champion, won two playoff games before losing 27-14 to Medina and finished 8-5.

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