Springfield trailed 16-7 at halftime but got the ball to start the third quarter and again moved the ball. It had a first down at the St. Edward 9. The drive ended when Te’Sean Smoot threw an interception.
Springfield trailed 23-7 after three quarters yet still had more chances. After Delian Bradley forced a fumble and recovered it at the St. Edward 33, the Wildcats went 3-and-out.
Still, there was enough time. On Springfield’s next drive, it reached the St. Edward 9 only to have to settle for another field-goal attempt that was blocked.
That was Springfield’s last chance. St. Edward ran out the lock in the final minutes.
“We tried our hardest to execute and get in the right stuff,” Smoot said. “Everything didn’t go our way.”
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Smoot completed 29 of 43 passes for 349 yards. He ran for a 9-yard score in the second quarter and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Brown early in the fourth quarter. Brown caught six passes for 103 yards. Shawn Thigpen caught 10 passes for 105 yards.
While Springfield focused on the passing game and lost 30 yards on 20 rushes, St. Edward leaned on its running game. Danny Enovitch ran 72 yards on the first play of the game, reaching the 1-yard line, and finished with 210 yards on 32 carries.
Springfield stopped St. Edward four straight times from the 1 on that first drive. It was not an omen for another dominant effort by the Wildcats defense, which shut out seven opponents.
Enovitch scored on a 17-yard run in the final minute of the first quarter. Christian Ramos threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Connor Goodall to give St. Edward a 16-0 lead midway through the second quarter. In the third quarter, Enovitch scored on a 9-yard run to extend the lead to 23-7.
Springfield (13-2) fell short of the first state championship for a Clark County team in the playoff era in its first trip to the final game, while St. Edward won its fifth state title since 2010.
“I can’t say how proud I am of these guys for their attitudes all year” St. Edward coach Tom Lombardo said. “People ask, ‘What about this team?’ And I say it all the time, it’s their lunch-pail mentality. They kind of had their lunch and went to work every day. They did what they were supposed to do. A very mature group.”