Smoot’s three touchdown runs carry Springfield past Wayne

Wildcats have won four straight games against Warriors

As Springfield High School celebrated a 21-14 victory at Wayne on Friday, coach Maurice Douglass said, “That’s the way you battle in the GWOC.”

» PHOTOS: Springfield vs. Wayne

The Wildcats improved to 3-0 with a victory in their Greater Western Ohio Conference opener.

“It feels good,” Springfield senior quarterback Te’Sean Smoot said. “Having games cancelled and having to pick up games, we’re just grateful to be able to play. We’re taking it week by week and preparing for anything.”

Smoot scored on runs of 1 yard and 2 yards in the first half. Then he capped a methodical drive with a go-ahead 20-yard touchdown run — the only score of the second half by either team — with 1:40 to play in the third quarter.

With multiple starting wide receivers sidelined with injuries, Smoot said the team wanted to be physical, and it paid off on that drive.

“We just did a good job up front blocking,” Douglass said. “Our running backs ran hard. (Smoot) ran hard and made some good decisions.”

Smoot completed 11 of 13 passes for 171 yards and rushed 22 times for 116 yards. He has five touchdown runs this season.

Wayne drove to the Springfield 30-yard line in the final minutes before its final drive stalled. A sack by linebacker Ty De’Armond ended Wayne’s threat and preserved a second-half shutout.

“You’ve got to be ready,” Douglass said. “You’ve got to go 48. The second 24, we made it count on defense.”

Wayne trailed 14-0 late in the first half but scored two quick touchdowns to tie the game before halftime. A 1-yard touchdown run by Bryan Kinley got the Warriors (2-2) on the board with 4:15 left in the half. A 17-yard touchdown run by Jordan Ward with 1:26 remaining tied the game at 14-14.

“Our kids are going to fight to the end,” Wayne coach Roosevelt Mukes said. “I told them, ‘That’s a good team you lost to. Don’t hold your heads down.’

Ward rushed for 85 yards on 21 carries. Wayne quarterback Tyrell Lewis completed 13 of 27 passes for 170 yards.

Christian McMillian led Springfield with four catches for 39 yards, while Shawn Thigpen caught two passes for 81 yards. His 45-yard catch set up Smoot’s second touchdown run.

Springfield has now won four straight games in the series. It beat Wayne by the same score, 21-14, in the opener of the 2020 season, 38-13 in 2019 and 33-26 in overtime in 2018. Prior to 2018, Springfield had not beaten Wayne since 2010.

Springfield opened the season with a 24-20 victory against Saint Ignatius and then, after a cancellation in Week 2, beat Lima Senior 46-6 on the road. The Wildcats play at home against Beavercreek, which fell to 0-4 with a 40-9 loss to Springboro on Friday, in Week 5.

Wayne opened the season by beating Dunbar 41-7 and Reynoldsburg 17-15 before losing 28-12 to Canton McKinley. Wayne plays at Miamisburg (3-1), which lost 30-13 at Centerville on Friday, next week.

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