Creek Wood quarterback Elijah Donaldson hands off to Will Secker
Photo: Marty Allison/DicksonSportsMedia
By Casey Patrick
CHARLOTTE, TN – Springfield defeated Creek Wood 14-7 on Friday night, to take home the Region 5-4A championship for the second year in a row. The usually explosive Creek Wood offense was held to only 154 yards as Springfield’s defense also forced three Red Hawk turnovers.
Springfield leaned on quarterback Kevontez Hudson and running back Kevontay White all night, offensively. Hudson only completed one pass but the Yellow Jacket running game paired with a very stout defense helped Springfield hold off Creek Wood.
Danny Stansberry ran for 127 yards on 30 carries, which is typically a recipe for Creek Wood success. However three turnovers, especially an interception on Creek Wood’s final offensive play, was too much to overcome.
Springfield got things started quickly as they marched down the field on the first possession of the game, and Kevontay White scored from 14 yards out, but that would be the only score for both teams in the first half. Both defenses settled in, and soon it became a game of field position and execution.
Creek Wood finally got on the board in the third quarter, taking the first possession of the second half and finding a few holes to move into the red zone, and quarterback Elijah Donaldson found his big target Sam Batey on a fade route to tie the game at seven.
Both teams fought back and forth forcing turnovers and fighting for field position, but Springfield finally broke through in the second half to take a 14-7 lead when Kevontez Hudson followed his big offensive line into the end zone.
With only four minutes and thirty four seconds remaining on the clock, the Red Hawks needed some help and they received it in the form of a big-time return from Will Secker as he took the ball all the way into Springfield territory down to the 39-yard line. Creek Wood ran a few plays, and the clock ticked down to just under a minute, and then a miscommunication in the Creek Wood offensive line allowed for a sack on third and short.
On fourth and ten, both teams knew this was the game, as both coaches called all of their timeouts and then finally lined up. Elijah Donaldson stepped back into the pocket and threw the ball into double coverage towards Danny Stansberry. The Yellow Jackets came down with the ball in the end zone for a touchback and they took over with just 45 seconds remaining and no timeouts for either squad.
“You know what, teams are going to do this late into the season and you just have to go out there and give it your best effort,” Springfield coach Dustin Wilson said. “It doesn’t get much better than this on November first, a good defensive game. I think we got both teams’ best and you could replay that game 10 times and get a different result each time.
“Now it’s the real season and it’s going to be good to go home, but everybody only remembers what you do last.”
Both Creek Wood coach Houston Thiel and Springfield coach Dustin Wilson complimented each other’s teams after the game, and it’s hard to disagree, seeing the effort that both teams fought with.
“Their defense really crashed the middle and really made our running tough,” Thiel said. “That team is one of the best tackling teams we’ve faced all season and they got there and made tackles. Hats off to those guys, they made plays when they needed to.
“I’m still confident in my guys, though; I told them after the game there isn’t anyone I’d rather be out here with than them. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but I’ve got all the confidence in the world in them.”
Springfield will host Jackson South Side next Friday night in the first round of the 4A playoffs while Creek Wood will host Jackson North Side.