In a hard-fought defensive gem, the Springville Tigers edged the Ashville Bulldogs 10-7 last week. With the win, the Tigers improved to 2-0 while the Bulldogs fell to 1-1.
The Bulldogs lit up the scoreboard first late in the first quarter as quarterback Dylan Harris hooked up with Derrick Walker for a 38-yard touchdown. Nathan Williams added the extra point to make it 7-0 after one quarter of play.
Springville finally got on the scoreboard with four seconds remaining in the first half as Hunter Ambrose kicked a 35-yard field goal to make the halftime score 7-3.
Springville took the second half kickoff and scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown as quarterback Pearson Baldwin hooked up with Jace Hayes for a 48-yard touchdown pass. Ambrose added the PAT to make the score 10-7 with 10:26 remaining in the third quarter.
That turned out to be the final score.
Springville coach Michael Graben said they were fortunate to win.
“Coach Simmons and his staff at Ashville have worked hard and it showed,” Graben said. “I am proud of our kids and coaches, and I am happy for our community.”
Graben said the Tiger defense played great.
“Sophomore Jamel Williams stood out in the secondary,” Graben said. John Raby led the Tigers in tackles with 10.
Baldwin passed for 135 yards and rushed for 103 yards. Kobye Payton added 87 yards on the ground.
Ashville coach Barry Simmons called it a heartbreaking loss.
“I was so proud of our kids because they played their butts off to the very end,” he said. “I was so proud of their effort. I was proud of our students, fans and community for the support they showed Friday. We will never accept a loss, but I do feel like our kids have nothing to hang their heads about.”
Simmons said they have to learn how to finish games like this.
“We had chances late in the game to take a lead as we had second and goal on the three-yard line,” he said. “We were unable to punch it in, but we can learn from that situation. It was a tough loss, but one game doesn’t define a season.”
Simmons said they must refocus their attention to their first region opponent Friday in Jacksonville.
“I will say once again how proud I am of these players and coaches,” he said. “They left it all on the field Friday, and that’s all I can ask. I am proud to be an Ashville Bulldog.”
Ashville will host Jacksonville (1-1) Friday night while Springville will play its third straight home game against the 2-0 Sylacauga Aggies. Both games are key region contests.
Reach Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.