SPRINGVILLE - Through a little more than one quarter of their 2020 season-opener hosting Central City Friday, Aug. 28, it appeared the Springville football team was going to be in for a four-quarter fight with their Linn County rivals.
The Orioles trailed 14-6 at the 10:34 mark of the second quarter before the hosts completely flipped the script.
And what a phenomenal turnaround it was
“We played a little cautiously early in the game and it took a little bit for us to settle down and get into what we wanted to do,” said Springville football coach Joe Martin, as his team went on an incredible 54-0 run to close the game with a resounding 60-14 triumph, keeping the coveted Tractor Bowl trophy at the school for another year.
“You have to give Central City some credit too. They came out and played well and took it right to us, but even with us not playing the kind of football I thought we would at the start, I never saw any worry from our kids. They knew if we stuck to the plan and did what we’re capable of doing that everything would work out fine. We’re a team full of seniors who have been through these battles before, and no one showed any kind of panic when we were down early in the second quarter.”
It also helped that the Orioles (1-0, 1-0) had Spencer DeMean on their side, as the Springville senior had the game of his life rushing for 262 yards and five touchdowns on just 17 carries (he also had two other touchdowns called back by penalty).
“Spencer has such great vision,” Martin said. “There are times he reminds me a lot of Elias Nissen where there’s pretty much nothing the opposing defense can do to slow him down. Spencer had one of those nights. He could do no wrong.”
It was the Wildcats who actually got the scoring started early in the first quarter as Ethan Dye connected on a 48-yard strike to a wide-open Marshall Van DeVegte and the Wildcats had a quick 7-0 lead.
DeMean found the end zone for the hosts with just 14-seconds remaining in the opening quarter scoring on a four-yard run. After an unsuccessful extra point try, Springville trailed 7-6.
Central City went right back to work in the second quarter as after Tye picked off an Oriole pass and ran the ball back to the Springville 12-yard-line, he finished off the drive with a seven-yard scoring scamper.
Springville fans were in shock as their team trailed 14-6. But the fun was just getting started.
DeMean closed a long drive with a two-yard touchdown plunge and after he also hauled in a two-point conversion pass from Luke Menster, the score was tied 14-14.
But not for long.
After Menster made a touchdown-saving tackle on a long Central City run, stopping the Wildcat offense at the Oriole two-yard-line, Springville’s defense stood tall holding the visitors out of the end zone.
Then the offense went back to work.
DeMean, on the Orioles’ first play of the drive, raced into the end zone from 68 yards out, and Springville had a lead they would not lose.
The fireworks from the Springville offense continued, as Menster hauled in a perfectly thrown pass from quarterback Bryce Wilson, covering 57 yards, and the hosts led 26-14 with 3:15 to play in the first half.
A little over two-minutes later Menster picked off a Lucas Greif pass and went on a 65 yard burst into the end zone giving the Orioles a 32-14 halftime lead.
The rout continued in the second half as Alex Koppes opened the scoring with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Wilson before DeMean tallied back-to-back third quarter touchdowns giving the hosts a 52-14 advantage.
Cory Weber ended the Oriole scoring, and the amazing 54-0 spurt, scoring the game’s final touchdown with 1:07 remaining on a one-yard plunge.
“The guys up front did a great job of creating room for Spencer to run, and he took advantage,” said Martin, as the Springville ground game accounted for 351 of the team’s 451 total yards of offense in the contest.
“Drew Feltes, Jake Heyer, Jack Hoogland, Tommy Hagensick and Grant Gloeckner all took turns helping lead block for Spencer and he made all the right moves,” Martin said. “I was impressed with Bryce too. Playing his first game at quarterback at the varsity level he did a great job of staying calm and collected, even when things weren’t going our way early. That’s one of the things he brings to the team, that leadership mentality on and off the field. Nothing ever seems to rattle him.”
Wilson was 3-of-6 passing for 100 yards.