ZANESVILLE, Ohio – For the second time in as many weeks, it all came down to just over 30 seconds for the Springfield Tigers, but this time, it was the defense who would stand strong.
After a 24-yard field goal courtesy of Clayton Medvec put the Tigers ahead 16-13 with just 5 minutes and 8 seconds remaining, the defense would take the field. Just as the Fort Frye Cadets had done all game long, they moved the ball down the field at will.
Long sustained drives are a staple of the Fort Frye offense, and it showed throughout the entirety of the game. The Cadets had possessions of 7, 6, 8, and 5 minutes, but only 1 resulted in points.
Following a shot to the endzone that would just go over the head of a Fort Frye receiver, the game came down to 8 yards and 36 seconds. With no timeouts to spare and already on 3rd down, the Cadets had time for two plays, but their only chance at stopping the clock would be getting out of bounds.
Trying to make up for the late score they gave up last week to allow Norwayne to take the lead in the closing seconds, the Tigers needed to flip the script.
After trying to get the edge on the Tigers with a sweep to the right, the Cadets hurried to the line, putting the fate of the game on just one final play.
The Springfield defense, already with two-goal lines stands in the game, came up big to advance their team back to the state championship for the second year in a row. The Cadet quarterback took the snap and rolled to his left trying to find a man in the endzone, but the Tigers had all their bases covered. Forcing a pass short of the goal line, two Tiger defenders came up and made the stop short of the endzone.
Austin Tindell: 6 carries 46 yards 2 TDs
Beau Brungard: 13 completions 162 yards 11 carries 57 yards
Maeson Long: 11 carries 133 yards 1 TD
Ian Ellis: 12 completions 121 yards 9 carries 23 yards 1 TD
Springfield: The Tigers will make their return to the State Championship Sunday at 5:00 pm. Springfield will face off with the Coldwater Cavaliers (11-0). Coldwater set a state record this season with their 24th straight playoff appearance and are looking to capture their 7th state championship since 2005.
*Contributed By YSN’s Jamie Thomson