Springfield coach Chris Shelly made it clear after his team's first game of season back in August that his goal was to lead the Spartans to the PIAA playoffs.
On Saturday night, Springfield found itself in position to fulfill Shelly's preseason goal. Only Imhotep Institute Charter stood in its way. The first half the game looked like it featured two teams fighting for a state championship bid. But huge second half by the Panthers thwarted Springfield's hopes as the Spartans fell 53-7.
"I think we all know that if you watched the game, that wasn't a 53-7 game,' Shelly said. "It's a 12-7 game at half. Their size and speed, and I give credit to them, they have a nice program, kind of wore us down.'
The Springfield collapse came right out of halftime as the Spartans went three-and-out six of its first seven its possessions with the only exception coming when it lost a fumble on its second drive. Meanwhile Imhotep scored touchdowns on all six of its second half.
"The big thing for us is just believing,' Imhotep coach Al Crosby said. "When we believe we're going to score, we score. When we believe we're going to stop somebody, we stop somebody.'
The huge second half for the Panthers was not an indictment on Springfield, but a testament to the depth and the size of Imhotep as it wore down the Spartans.
"I think that's big when you're able to hit people with different kids,' Crosby said.
In the end, the banged up Spartans squad might have fallen short of their goal, but Shelly is proud how well his team performed even in light of overcoming a slew of injuries, among other things.
"I'm immensely proud of our guys, I'm immensely proud of the season,' Shelly said. "This team more than any team I've coached has fought through adversity and has that never-say-die attitude.'
Springfield 0 7 0 0-7
Imhotep Charter 0 12 21 20-53
IC- Scott 55 punt return (kick failed)
S- Khalil Hopkins-Bay 61 pass from Johnson (Baughan kick)
IC-Bonner 6 run (pass failed)
IC- Waters 17 run (Moore kick)
IC- Bonner 20 run (Moore kick)
IC- Waters 4 run (Moore kick)
IC-Gillette 27 pass from Dreuitt-Parks (kick failed)
IC- Waters 35 run (Moore kick)
IC- Bonner 27 run (Moore kick)
First downs 5 18
Yards rushing 57 299
Yards passing 78 50
Total offense 135 349
Passing 5-9-1 2-6-1
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties 4-20 7-62
Punts 6-20.2 1-37
Springfield: Khalif Hopkins-Bay 22-22; Johnson 1-(-6); Doyle 5-24; Khalil Hopkins-Bay 2-10; Righter 3-2; Toutkoushian 1-5
Imhotep Institute Charter: Bonner 18-141, 3 TD; Waters 10- 122, 3TD; Raynor 4-17; Dreuitt-Parks 3-19
Springfield: Doyle 4-9-1, 17 yards; Johnson 1-1, 61 yards, TD
Imhotep Institute Charter: Dreuitt-Parks 2-6-1, 50 yards 1 TD
Springfield: Khalil Hopkins-Bay 1-61, TD; Johnson 1-(-1); Khalif Hopkins-Bay 1-4
Imhotep Institute Charter: Lewis 1-23; Gillette 1-27, TD