Yellow Jackets roll up nearly 400 yards of total offense, improve to 4-1
SPRINGFIELD – On the first day of fall practice, Springfield coach Dustin Wilson worried about the inexperience and cohesiveness of his offensive line.
After their performance against Kenwood Friday, perhaps he can worry about something else for a few days as Springfield generated 394 yards of total offense in a 47-0 win over the visiting Knights.
“They’ve been doing good,” Wilson said of his offensive line. “Just young, not to say there aren’t any seniors on there, they just haven’t played together. Communicating and doing the right things, there’s still more room to grow, but yeah, they’re doing better. There’s ain’t but one way to get that, (experience) and that’s to play.”
Kenwood, playing without star quarterback Jaylen Washington due to an ejection in last week’s 25-14 win over West Creek, turned the ball over on downs near midfield on its opening possession. Two plays and a holding penalty later, Yellow Jacket quarterback Devon Crenshaw hit a streaking Ze’Rel Boyd down the left sideline for a 62-yard touchdown to put Springfield (4-1, 2-0 Region 7-5A) up 7-0 with 6:55 left in the opening quarter.
A three-and-out on Kenwood’s next offensive series led to a Keshawn Robinson punt return to the Kenwood 47. On third down, Robinson would win a 41-yard Crenshaw jump ball toss just short of the end zone and run it in. Logan Leftrick’s kick would put the Yellowjackets up 14-0 with 4:10 to go in the first quarter.
Asked if throwing early was part of the game plan, Coach Wilson replied, “When you got kids, they need the ball. Two big plays. You have to be able to establish that part of (the game) or everybody will load it up and stop it on you. So just using all our kids and getting them the ball. Get the ball out and giving them a chance.”
“What we saw on film is what we got,” Kenwood head coach Les Greer said. “We talked ‘don’t fall asleep. They’ll pound it, pound it, pound it, and then you get a slant or a 9-ball.’ That’s what we got tonight. We’ve just got to keep competing every snap. Laser-like focus on every snap.”
A 3-yard Keontez Woodard run gave Springfield a 20-0 lead heading into halftime.
Kenwood persisted on trying to throw the ball with junior quarterback Caleb Grady, however, the Yellow Jacket defense put consistent pressure on Grady. The Knights (2-3, 0-2) managed a total of 113 yards offensively.
Despite the offensive struggles, Greer was pleased with the performance of his quarterback.
“Especially in the first half, I think he did a really good job,” Greer said. “He was putting the ball where it was supposed to be, he was processing his reads, I thought he did a really good job. He’s only been in the offense for a few months, and anytime you replace a three-year starter it’s a tough thing. I thought, as a team, there were a few paces where we didn’t do a good enough job helping him out.”
A 1-yard sneak by Crenshaw extended Springfield’s lead to 27-0, then they added to their lead after a Ja’Quavion Johnson interception on a 2-yard run by Lamarious Daniels.
Daniels said that the performance was largely due to a focus on getting things righted after last week’s loss to Wilson Central in which Springfield was missing several starters.
“We just wanted to come out with a lot of intensity, a lot of effort, a lot of dedication, and a lot of heart,” Daniels said. “We just went over and over and over and did not stop until we got it right.”
Keenan Chatman Jr., a freshman running back, finished the scoring with two short runs in the fourth quarter. They were his first scores of the year in his first game back after a bout with COVID.
“They (the Springfield coaching staff) told us to put last week behind us, Chatman said. “To ‘flush it’…but don’t forget it.”
Springfield will travel to Rossview on Friday for a non-region game, while Kenwood travels to Shelbyville.
SPRINGFIELD 47, KENWOOD 0
|Kenwood (2-3, 0-2), Springfield (4-1, 2-0)||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
S – Ze’Rel Boyd 62 pass from Devon Crenshaw, 6:55. Logan Leftrick kick.
S – Keyshawn Robinson 41 pass from Crenshaw, 4:10. Leftrick kick.
S – Keontez Woodard 3 run, 7:58. Kick failed.
S – Crenshaw 1 run, 6:56. Leftrick kick.
S – Lamarious Daniels 2 run, 3:11. Leftrick kick.
S – Keenan Chatman, Jr. 6 run, 11:21. Leftrick kick.
S – Chatman 2 run, 4:17. Kick failed.