The Springfield Wildcats were on the cusp of breaking out.
The Vandalia Aviators would have preferred the ‘Cats waited another week.
Springfield’s speed and depth helped the Wildcats win 51-13 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference cross-over high school football game Friday night.
Butler led 6-0 after its opening drive and 13-7 after the first quarter. The Aviators came up short a few times after as receivers laid out for passes just off their fingertips.
“We just didn’t capitalize on opportunities,” Butler coach Greg Bush said. “We had a guy open on the goal line and missed him … it is what it is. We just have to get ready for the GWOC North now.”
Butler (3-2) enters North Division play with two straight losses. The Aviators attempt to end that skid at Piqua next Friday.
Springfield (2-3), coming off a tough 13-12 loss to Miamisburg last week, broke open the game with 28 third-quarter points. Danny Davis had touchdown runs of 13 and 79 yards and quarterback Saalih Muhammad found 6-foot-5, 242-pound tight end Leonard Taylor for TD passes of 20 and 45 yards down the middle.
“Finish every play,” Springfield coach Maurice Douglass said of his pep talk to his Wildcats. “The guys did a great job and I’m so happy and proud of each and every one of them.”
Muhammad threw four TDs overall and Davis fnished with 255 yards rushing on 23 carries.
“It’s tough for our guys to match up. We’ve got a lot of guys going both ways. Those are all excuses and I don’t like to give excuses. There’s nothing really to say except they beat us,” Bush said.
“If we could have capitalized maybe things would have been different. We’ll never know.”
Nic Martin gave Butler a 6-0 lead four minutes into the game on a 2-yard touchdown run.
After Springfield answered to go up 7-6, Butler regained the lead on Noah Ballard’s impressive 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chandler Craine. Ballard out-leaped a Springfield defender to haul in the pass just above the defender’s helmet, then sprinted about 15 yards to beat another Wildcat to the corner of the end zone.
Springfield opens play in the Central Division by hosting undefeated Wayne on Friday.