Springfield routs Xenia to improve to 5-1

9:44 p.m Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 Sports

The Springfield Wildcats won so big Friday, 55-12 over Xenia, they were doing backflips at Doug Adams Stadium.

Springfield’s William Finch III celebrated the most lopsided victory of the season and one of the highest-scoring games in the 10 seasons of the new high school with a flip on the turf to the delight of his teammates.

Finch was a part of the postgame message by coach Maurice Douglass.

“It’s about being a team,” Douglass said. “It’s not about who gets the ball. It’s about when you get it, make the most of it. We have a lot of guys who can make plays. Will Finch, he didn’t get any targets tonight. He didn’t get any receptions. But he was out here doing flips. It’s all about the team. That’s the way it should be for everyone. That’s what it’s going ot take for us to be a successful team this year.”

Springfield’s 5-1 record is its best mark through six games since 2010 when it started 7-1. The Wildcats won their second straight game since losing 24-12 to Centerville, outgaining Xenia 472-143.

“I just love this group,” quarterback Leonard Taylor said. “I think we’re a really special group. I think we can do big things this year. We’ve just got to stay focused and keep on task and finish strong.”

Xenia fell to 0-6 for the second straight season. This was the third meeting between the schools since Springfield North and South high schools merged. Springfield leads the series 2-1.

The Buccaneers dominated the first couple of minutes. Meechi Harris turned a screen pass from Christian Severt into a 38-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game. After missing the extra point, Xenia then recovered an onside kick.

“That was less than two minutes into the game,” Douglass said. “There was still a whole lot left. We’ve got a resiliency this year. We’ve got a good group of kids. They get hit in the mouth, they don’t get fazed.”

Springfield regained the momentum with an interception by Kendric Holt on Xenia’s second possession. The Wildcats turned that into a 42-yard touchdown run by Tavion Smoot. Taylor threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Johnson to give the Wildcats a 14-6 lead.

Xenia cut the deficit to 14-12 on a 17-yard touchdown catch by Harris from Severt on fourth down. A touchdown run by Taylor and then two scores by Michael Brown-Stephens gave Springfield a 35-12 halftime lead.

Todd King and Jeff Toliver added touchdowns in the third quarter as the Wildcats pushed the lead to 48-12. Tayshawn Heatley scored the final touchdown in the fourth quarter. Springfield fell six points short of tying the school record for most points scored. The Wildcats beat Miamisburg 61-7 in 2010.

“It was a team victory,” Douglass said. “Everybody contributed, offensively and defensively. We’ve got to clean up some stuff in the passing game. I’m just happy to see guys getting a chance to take advantage of their opportunities.”

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