SPRINGFIELD Football coaches as a whole can’t stand turnovers and hate giving up big plays.
If that analogy stands true, then Springfield coach Dustin Wilson was probably fit to be tied Friday night after this Yellow Jackets came out on the short end of a 27-13 score with visiting Maplewood.
With that in mind, what did we learn about both Maplewood and Springfield after Friday night’s contest?
1 – The Panthers forced five Springfield turnovers Friday night. Maplewood had four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and also forced a fumble. Eric Parker, Deshawn Johnaon, Yusuf Ali and Makell Smith all had interceptions for the Panthers.
2 – Maplewood lived off of the big play. All four Panther touchdowns were over 40 yards. An interception for 52-yards, touchdown passes of 59-yards and 44-yards, and a kickoff return for 80-yards.
3 – Marco Petty showed he could score in a variety of ways. Perry scored on a kickoff return for 80-yards, and had two touchdown receptions, one for 59-yards and the other for 44-yards. Maplewood coach Arcentae Broomes sang his praise after the game. “There are kids that play football and then there are football players,” Broomes said. “He’s a football player that can play just about any position and he excels at them all.
“He’s a student of the game and people are going to be hearing big things from him, you have my word on that.”
1 – Springfield’s offense never got into a flow. The Yellow Jackets only passed for 47-yards and had four interceptions. They did run the ball 46 times Friday, but finished with only 160 yards for a 3.5 yard average.
2 – The Yellow Jacket defense played well despite giving up 27 points. The defense held Maplewood scoreless in the first quarter and the third quarter, stopping the Panthers twice in the red zone (their own 20-yard line) and forced a fumble to stall a drive. The defense may have worn down because they were on the field so much Friday night because of a lack of offense.
3 – Springfield’s kicking game may be one of the best its had in a while. Thomas Harris hit a pair of field goals Friday night and kicked two kickoffs into the end zone. That was important because Maplewood’s Marco Petty made them pay when he got his chance, taking it to the house.