It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
SPRINGFIELD — Jevon Garcia scored three rushing touchdowns in the second half to lead Springfield to a 42-20 victory over Ashland in Midwestern League football Friday night.
It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Millers (4-1, 3-0 MWL), who surpassed their win total from last season with the homecoming victory.
Junior quarterback Danial White completed 18 of 26 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Grizzlies (2-3, 1-2), who committed five turnovers — three interceptions and two fumbles.
Garcia ran for 51 of Springfield's 204 rushing yards, reaching the end zone from 1 yard out on three separate occasions. The senior running back's three scoring runs were part of a 28-0 run by the Millers after Ashland tied the game at 14 midway through the second quarter.
The Grizzlies crawled out of an early two-touchdown deficit after Springfield quarterback Trevor Watson threw his first career interception early in the second quarter. White's 14-yard touchdown pass to RJ Atteberry with 6:52 to go in the first half completed a 41-yard drive and knotted the game at 14 following Matt Hedges' PAT.
Watson, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound freshman, immediately responded, however, when he connected with sophomore wide receiver Alec Cook on a 64-yard touchdown strike that gave Springfield a 21-14 advantage at halftime.
"We always talk about his maturity," first-year head coach Dave Heuberger said of Watson. "He sat in my office before the game and he was more calm than any coach in the room. It's fun coaching a kid like that and I think he makes the team calmer."
Watson completed 10 of 15 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown, and also scored on a 5-yard run early in the first quarter.
The Millers forced four Ashland turnovers — with Cook and junior Taylor Travess accounting for three interceptions on the night — and held Ashland to 91 yards rushing.
Mason Montgomery led Ashland's defense with 14 tackles. Atteberry, Quaid Walters and Carter Glick had five catches apiece with 60, 59 and 58 yards receiving, respectively.
EAGLE POINT 62, NORTH EUGENE 6 — At Eugene, Eagle Point's defense held North Eugene scoreless until the final play of the game and running back Caleb Ash flourished on the ground for the Eagles.
Ash ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, including a 46-yard scamper in the second quarter for the Eagles (3-2), who compiled 322 on the ground.
The Eagles' Jakob Combs added two touchdown runs and rumbled for 94 yards on just seven attempts.
Eagles safety Blade Rittiman returned an interception 40 yards to pay dirt in the fourth quarter. The Eagles' defense had three interceptions and recovered two fumbles, while yielding just 108 yards, only 4 of which were rushing.
GRANTS PASS 28, THURSTON 23 — At Springfield, Hunter Rich threw for two touchdowns and added a TD run as Grants Pass upset Thurston, which had been previously unbeaten in Southwest Conference play.
The Cavemen (2-3, 2-1 SWC) rushed for 188 yards on 41 carries and held the Colts (2-3, 2-1) to just 73 yards on 34 carries.
Anthony Mattie picked up 145 yards and one TD on 25 attempts and Bracken Sharp caught four balls for 95 yards to pace Grants Pass.
ROSEBURG 45, SOUTH EUGENE 6 — At Eugene, Roseburg (2-3, 1-2 SWC) snapped a three-game losing streak with a runaway road victory over winless South Eugene (0-5, 0-3).