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Close calls lift Springfield to win

Saturday, October 8, 2016

By JACOB RUFFO

sports@vindy.com

COLUMBIANA

In a game decided by the slimmest of margins, Springfield escaped Firestone Park with a big 14-13 win over Columbiana.

A blocked extra point and a fourth down attempt missed by 1 yard, both in the fourth quarter, were the difference.

With 7:42 remaining, following a 58-yard touchdown pass from Columbiana quarterback Mitch Davidson to receiver Jake Stoy, a blocked extra point kept the Clippers from tying the game.

Later, Columbiana had the ball near midfield. On a fourth and 6, Davidson made a run for the first down. After diving and stretching the ball past the first-down marker, he was ruled out of bounds 1 yard short.

“The time of possession we had was huge. We may not have scored points, but we were able to keep Mitch off the field,” Springfield coach Sean Guerriero said. “But we definitely have to work on our red zone offense.”

Davidson was responsible for a lot of the offense for Columbiana, rushing the ball 16 times for 62 yards and a third-quarter toucdown. He also complete 12 of 23 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown.

“They’re a good defensive team, they have one of the better defensive coaches in the area,” Columbiana coach Bob Spaite said.

Columbiana had been averaging 46 points per game.

“I don’t think they had been doing anything particularly different,” Spaite said. “It didn’t feel like we were slowed down at all; we just were not making plays.

“Mitch was never frustrated, he’s a great kid,” Spaite added. “We were breaking routes, dropping balls. We just weren’t making plays, you know?

“Got to make some blocks. I give credit to them. They had a good gameplan. We just have to make plays.”

Springfield running back Frankie Centofanti had eight carries on the 19-play first drive that ended with the Tigers stalled at the 2.

Centofanti had 22 carries for 77 yards.

“It felt good getting eight carries right out of the gate like that,” Centofanti said, “But we need to finish on drives like that.”

Guerriero agreed.

“To get down to the 2 yard line [and not score] was difficult,” Guerriero said. “You can say we should have taken the three and kicked a field goal, but I really thought we needed to get seven and get the jump on them.”

Springfield had 46 carries divided among six rushers and 166 yards. Luke Snyder helped Centofanti grind the game out. He rushed 14 times for 61 yards

“We knew we could run on them. So that first drive felt good.” Centofanti said.

Springfield scored the first touchdown on a 58-yard touchdown with 30 seconds left in the first half when Brannon Brungard found Gabe Bernard deep over the middle.

Bernard ended the game with three catches for 71 yards and one touchdown. Brungard ended the game with nine of 14 passing for 104 yards and two touchdowns.