Spartans pull away to remain unbeaten heading into Ravenwood showdown
SPRING HILL – If there was any thought of Summit having a letdown before their region showdown with Ravenwood next week, that went away quickly on Friday.
The Spartans scored 32 unanswered points after visiting Beech had tied the game in the first quarter, pulling away and cruising to a 39-7 victory over the Buccaneers in a rematch of a Class 5A quarterfinal last season.
Summit head coach Brian Coleman tried something different to help keep his players focused on the task at hand.
“Hence the orange jerseys,” Coleman said. “We hadn’t worn those things in probably three years. Tried to give them a little shot in the arm and get them excited. It’s ugly as heck but we wore them and they love it.”
The Spartans (6-0) had to endure a first-half test from Beech’s defense, as the game was even until Destin Wade found Brady Pierce for the second of their three touchdown connections with 1:21 to play in the half.
“(Beech) had a great defensive plan (in the first half),” Coleman said. “They threw some stuff at us that we had not seen yet. That second quarter was about figuring things out, then we got the two big plays before the half.”
The first of those plays came on Beech’s next series, when John Dippold intercepted a pass and returned it into Beech territory, snuffing out a Buccaneer series which would have potentially given them the lead had it held up.
“I’m just proud of John Dippold,” Destin Wade said. “He’s had two picks like that in real crucial moments, so I’m just proud of how he stepped up in a big position.”
With time winding down, Destin Wade had to improvise for a shot at the end zone. Fortunately for him, his brother was right there to help him out. Keaten Wade caught the pass and slalomed his way to the end zone as time expired on the first half.
“No one was open, and my line gave me enough time just to see everything,” Destin Wade said. “I just gave (Keaten) the ball and he made a great play.”
Coleman added, “Keaten was in there to block and he just leaked out (of the backfield. We’ve got a clock – if you’re not blocking anybody, just go on and leak out.”
Summit led 19-7 at halftime after that score.
“We had the game 13-7, driving down the field, threw an interception, (Summit) wound up scoring before the half,” Beech head coach Anthony Crabtree said. “That’s a huge game-changer, momentum swing. Part of that’s my fault. Probably should have just ran the ball instead of throwing it and we could have gotten out of there for halftime.”
The Buccaneers were unable to get much offense going after their lone score, a 3-yard run by Bronco Hanks on fourth-and-goal late in the first quarter.
“We kind of done the same thing we’ve done several times this year against good football teams,” Crabtree said. “We just made mental errors. When we do that and put ourselves behind the chains, we just have a hard time overcoming that.”
Pierce caught three of Destin Wade’s four touchdown passes. Destin Wade completed 6-of-10 passes for 155 yards and added 116 on the ground, including a 62-yard touchdown in the third quarter. But it took the Spartans nearly that long to figure Beech’s defense out.
“They’re still a good defense,” Destin Wade said. “They still have number 82 (Jackson Long), he’s a good defensive end. They run to the ball hard. I give them credit – they stopped us in the first half for a little bit, but after we made the adjustments on the sideline, I think we were good.”
SUMMIT 39, BEECH 7
|Beech (3-2), Summit (6-0)||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
S – Brady Pierce 27 pass from Destin Wade, 1:56. Ryan Crane kick.
B – Bronco Hanks 3 run, 0:25. Nick Krall kick.
S – Pierce 52 pass from Destin Wade, 1:21. Kick failed.
S – Keaten Wade 28 pass from Destin Wade, 0:00. Kick failed.
S – Destin Wade 62 run, 7:24. Run failed.
S – Keaten Wade 4 run, 3:44. Crane kick.
S – Pierce 28 pass from Destin Wade, 9:40. Crane kick.