Springfield gets revenge against Fairmont in second round of playoffs

Wildcats record third shutout of season

The Springfield Wildcats didn’t dance in front of their marching band after their 35-7 victory in the first round of the playoffs. They didn’t play well against Olentangy Orange despite the lopsided score, and coach Maurice Douglass let them know as they gathered around him after the game.

In the second round of the playoffs Friday, the Wildcats had their fun with the band. The players sprinted from the handshake line to the end zone and celebrated a 21-0 victory against Fairmont, the only team to beat them in the regular season, in the second round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs in Springfield.

The same D.J. Khaled song that always plays after a Springfield victory accompanied the celebration.

“All I do is win, win, win, no matter what,” the song goes.

Asked how Springfield played, Douglass said, “Better. It was a better performance. They did a better job paying attention to detail. We showed them what we did against (Fairmont) in the years prior to this year.”

Explore» PHOTOS: Springfield vs. Fairmont

Springfield blanked Fairmont 17-0 in the 2021 regular season. This game was much more similar to that game than Fairmont’s 24-21 victory at Springfield on Sept. 23. The Springfield defense let the Firebirds sniff the end zone only once in the fourth quarter with the Wildcats already leading 21-0.

Springfield outgained Fairmont 286-115. Fairmont averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 200.2 yards per game on the season but was limited to 2.4 yards per carry and 101 rushing yards in this game.

Linebacker Jaivian Norman led the defense with 14 tackles and 2½ tackles for a loss.

“The defense played phenomenal,” said quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 173 yards. “On first down when you hold those guys to one or two yards or even negative yards, you’re set because you know they’re probably not going to pass.”

No. 2 seed Springfield (10-1) will play No. 3 seed Centerville (10-2) in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. next Friday at a neutral site that will be announced this weekend. Centerville beat No. 11 seed Marysville 42-21.

Springfield won 38-10 at Centerville on Oct. 7. The Wildcats have won five straight games in the series. This will be the first time the teams have met in the playoffs.

The other D-I, Region 2 semifinal matches No. 8 seed Powell Olentangy Liberty (7-5), which upset No. 1 seed Dublin Jerome 28-14, and No. 4 Perrysburg (11-1), which beat No. 5 Delaware Olentangy Berlin 24-8.

For the third straight week, Springfield broke open a close game in the third quarter. It turned a 7-0 halftime lead into a 21-0 lead after three quarters with Schondelmyer throwing a 40-yard touchdown pass to Daylen Bradley on the first drive of the quarter and Jayvin Norman running six yards for a score on the second drive.

Springfield outscored Northmont 28-0 in the third quarter in a 55-21 victory in Week 10 and outscored Olentangy Orange 21-0 in the third quarter in the first round of the playoffs.

Explore» PREVIEW: Springfield ‘locked in’ for rematch with Fairmont

In the first half, Springfield’s opening drive ended with a fumble inside the Fairmont 5-yard line. Fairmont ended Springfield’s second drive with an interception by Karmron Payne and then got a stop on 4th-and-2 on Springfield’s third drive.

Springfield finally got on the board with 24 seconds left in the half on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Schondelmyer to Anthony Brown. The Wildcats took a 7-0 lead into halftime. It was Brown’s 15th touchdown catch of the season.

“It was huge,” Schondelmyer said. “They did a little drop in the middle of the field. The guy tried to rob it. I put it over the top, and (Brown) made a great play going up for it. It was perfect.”

Springfield now has won six straight games since its loss to Fairmont. It outscored Springboro, Centerville, Miamisburg and Northmont 186-35 in the final four weeks of the regular season to clinch the Greater Western Ohio Conference title.

Fairmont, which beat Wayne 24-20 in the first round of the playoffs for its first home playoff victory in school history, end the season with an 8-4 record.

“We had great senior leadership,” Fairmont coach Dave Miller said. “It’s a great group of seniors. We’re going to miss them. We have some maturity issues we’re going to have to work through with the younger guys, but they were great leaders and I hope guys look up to them and model what they did.”

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