Trotwood-Madison gets ‘signature win’ against Springfield

Missed extra point in final minutes costs Wildcats

TROTWOOD — Springfield High School stood atop the football world in Southwest Ohio the last two seasons, losing only two regular-season games and twice advancing to the Division I state championship game.

Trotwood-Madison learned how strong the Wildcats were in 2022, losing 41-0 in Springfield in Week 3.

One year later, the Rams turned a blowout loss into the closest of victories, beating Springfield 21-20 on Friday. It was the fourth game Springfield’s Maurice Douglass has coached against the program he led to a state championship in 2011. He’s now 2-2 against the Rams. He was inducted into the Trotwood-Madison Hall of Fame at halftime.

“We just wanted to come in and compete,” Trotwood-Madison coach Jeff Graham said. “We understand what Springfield is. We understand coach (Douglass) and his philosophy. We really wanted to come out and just put ourselves in position to win at home and execute in all three phases of the game. It’s still early. We made a lot of mistakes. We’ve just got to regroup and change those mistakes.”

Trotwood-Madison (2-1) clinched the victory on an interception by Darius Dennis with 1:15 to play. On Springfield’s prior possession, Springfield’s Jayvin Norman scored on a 5-yard run with 3:18 to play, but a missed extra point prevented the Wildcats from tying the game.

Springfield (1-2) has lost two straight games for the first time since 2017 when it fell to Wayne and Fairmont in the final two games of the season.

“We’ll bounce back,” Douglass said. “We’ll be back. It ain’t over yet. We’ve got 10 weeks, and they take 16 teams (for the playoffs). We’re going to be in there somewhere, and if we get in late or at the bottom, y’all better be ready.”

Springfield played without starting quarterback Brent Upshaw, who suffered an injury a week earlier in a 35-7 loss to DeMatha Catholic (Md.) in Ironton. Sophomore Kaden Hines played the first half against Trotwood-Madison. Freshman Braylon Keyes replaced Hines in the second half.

Trotwood-Madison got on the board when Mike Smith returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Springfield tied the game on a touchdown run by Norman with 4:41 left in the first quarter.

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

The Rams regained the lead when Tim Carpenter threw a 22-yard touchdown to Armani Rogers in the second quarter. Then Carpenter scored on a 41-yard run to give the Rams a 21-7 lead with 3:45 remaining in the first half.

Hines threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Da’Shawn Martin late in the second quarter to cut Trotwood-Madison’s lead to 21-14.

Turnovers hurt Springfield throughout the game. The Wildcats threw an interception deep in Trotwood-Madison territory on their first drive of the second half and lost a fumble inside the 20 on their second drive.

Trotwood-Madison didn’t turn the ball over until the final minutes when they tried to convert on 4th-and-1 near midfield and Carpenter lost a fumble, setting up Springfield for its third touchdown drive. Thanks to the missed extra point, the turnover didn’t cost the Rams.

Trotwood-Madison has now beaten two Greater Western Ohio Conference teams, Fairmont and Springfield, in back-to-back weeks.

“First and foremost, I want to give all glory to my lord and savior, Jesus Christ,” Carpenter said. “Without him, none of this would be possible. He just allows me to play the game at this level. It was a big win. It was a signature win.”

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