Compared to the last meeting between the two rivals, Saturday’s contest at Fruth Field was remarkably competitive.
But that was only because Mayville was held to zero yards in their previous matchup. St. Mary’s Springs posted another convincing win with a 48-3 shellacking of its Flyway rival.
Mayville made an early statement by forcing the Ledgers into a punt on their opening possession, just their fifth all year, but after that it was smooth sailing for the Ledgers.
Springs quarterback Evan Henderson put the Ledgers on the board near the end of the first quarter when he scooted in on an option play from the 25-yard line. Less than two minutes later, Springs was in the end zone again, thanks in part to a 72-yard punt return from Darin Ward. His return set up goal-to-go from the three-yard line, and the senior finished what he started by rushing for the score on the ensuing play.
“That got the spark going, probably put a damper on any thoughts that they had of competing against us,” Springs coach Bob Hyland said. “It’s all momentum in a game, and that was a big change and got us going.”
It took less than three minutes for the Ledgers to tack on another touchdown, as junior Ike Floyd busted through the heart of Mayville’s defense and cut towards the right corner for a 56 yard score.
The running back tandem of Floyd and Ward did not disappoint, as each would cruise in for another touchdown before the half was over. The exclamation point came with three minutes to go in the second quarter, when Springs defensive back Reuben Rieder tipped a pass to himself near the left sideline and returned it 36 yards to give his team a 42-0 lead.
The victory keeps the Ledgers unbeaten and ensures them of at least a share of the Flyway Conference title, their fourth in the last five years.
“It means a lot,” Ward said. “All the seniors just wanted to come out; it was our last [regular season] game here at Fruth Field, so we just wanted to come out and make a big statement.”
With the game well in hand, Springs was content to drain the clock for much of the second half.
The one highlight for Mayville came early in the fourth quarter, when Corbin Schroeder nailed a 39-yard field goal to end the shutout. It was the Cardinals’ first score against their rivals since 2008.
The homecoming victory keeps the Ledgers’ winning streak alive at 21 consecutive games. They have a chance to make it 22 next week in the regular season finale at Lomira.
“With this group especially, we just expected it,” Hyland said. “I mean they have all the talent if we coaches don’t screw it up. We’re right where we should be.”