A three touchdown scoring spree to open the fourth quarter was enough for the Springfield Yellow Jackets to pull away from Creek Wood Friday night, beating the Red Hawks 44-18. The win captures the region for the Yellow Jackets, who finish the regular season 8-2, while Creek Wood drops to 7-3.
The Red Hawks struck first, getting a 66-yard touchdown run by Danny Stansberry, which was set up by an interception by Elijah Donaldson. The PAT was no good and Creek Wood led 6-0.
Springfield scored on their next possession when Dayron Johnson ran in from 18 yards. The Yellow Jackets were able to keep their scoring drive alive when quarterback Brian Hayes lined up to punt on fourth and long, but instead ran for a first down, catching the Creek Wood defense by surprise. The Yellow Jackets scored again on their next possession when Hayes scored on a 23-yard run, making the score 13-6.
Creek Wood got another touchdown from Danny Stansberry, who ran 54 yards through the Springfield defense for his second of the night. Stansberry was the Manhattan Trophies Player of the Game. The Red Hawks went for two but came up short. Hayes would score again for the Yellow Jackets, racing in from 18 yards out, reaching for the pylon. Springfield also got a 35-yard field goal from David Madrid to increase their lead to 23-12.
The RedHawks cut into that lead when Mitch Duke hit Will Secker for a 51-yard touchdown pass but again the extra point was no good and the teams went into the locker room with the score 23-18.
The two teams did not score in the third quarter, but Springfield had a chance to increase their lead when Benjamin Galluzzi returned a short punt to the Creek Wood 4-yard line. A series of penalties pushed the Yellow Jackets back and they missed a short field goal, keeping their lead at five.
The fourth quarter was all Springfield, as they scored three touchdowns in a four-minute span. Keith Jones and Montrel Baker had touchdown runs and Hayes hit Johnson for a 67-yard score. That scoring barrage was the difference in the game as the Yellow Jackets closed it out with a 44-18 win, shutting out the Red Hawks in the second half.
Creek Wood finishes the regular season at 7-3, and will travel to Jackson South Side next Friday for the first round of the TSSAA 4A Playoffs.