SPRINGFIELD — Special teams proved to be pretty special for Beech as three blocked punts led to 16 first-half points and a 37-20 victory over Springfield on Friday night at Boyce Smith Stadium.
Still, Beech had to fight off a furious third-quarter rally to win.
Beech (4-2) led 23-6 at halftime before Springfield’s (3-3) Dewayne Buckner threw a touchdown pass to Kyler Beerman and ran in a score to trim the deficit to 23-20.
Touchdown runs by Auston Vanzant and Rodrick Napper in the fourth quarter sealed the win for Beech.
“People don’t focus often on special teams, but they can be the big difference like they were tonight,” said Alex Iacob, who picked up a blocked punt and zipped 25 yards for a touchdown.
A blocked punt by Michael Iacob set up Beech’s opening touchdown as quarterback Nelson Smith connected with Heath Crabtree for a 19-yard score to give Beech a 7-0 lead. Iacob later blocked a punt that led to a safety.
“Special teams are one-third of the game even though people don’t look at it like that, but it helped us tonight,” Beech coach Anthony Crabtree said.
Said Springfield coach Dustin Wilson, “Our kids never game up, and fought the whole game even when we made some mistakes, so that’s a big positive that we can take away.”