By Chris Yow
SPRING HILL — In as complete a performance as they have had in recent memory, the Spring Hill Raiders left Buford Gladney Stadium with heads held high and chests swelling with pride following a 35-0 homecoming win over Maplewood.
The Raiders (1-5, 1-1 Region 4-4A) took control of the game early defensively, setting the tone by forcing their first of five three-and-outs of the Panthers (0-2, 0-1). A poor punt set up Spring Hill’s offense to take advantage, and it did. Spring Hill’s defense held Maplewood to 45 yards total offense in the game.
First-time starter Mac Richie took the ball three times on the Raiders’ opening possession, a five-play drive, going for 22, 1 and 7 yards on those carries, as the drive was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Luka Boylan. Richie was the workhorse in the game, leading all runners with 65 yards on 16 carries in his first varsity start.
“Everybody did their job tonight, working together, and we completed our goal,” he said.
Throughout the week, Spring Hill coach Ben Martin knew Richie would be a vital part of this offense during the game, and he delivered.
“Mac is a hard runner, and we knew that’s what we needed tonight,” Martin said. “He had a great week of practice, pounding it. I can’t say enough about our guys up front with the improvements we’ve seen week to week.”
Richie said he elevated his game all week long in preparation for his time to shine on Friday night.
“Full intensity, 100% every play, even if it was just practice,” Richie said. “I was going full speed all week because I wanted to help my team get this win.”
RELATED: PHOTO GALLERY
Complementing Richie’s power run game was the lateral speed sweep options he allowed his teammates Landen Secrest and Dante Prowell. Secrest, who typically starts at the tailback position ran five times for 52 yards — all in the first half, but did it a little differently than he has to this point in the season. Much of which is due to the ability of Richie to make plays between the tackles.
“Mac opened up our offense a little more tonight,” Martin said. “We were able to do some things we haven’t been doing, and defenses can’t stack the box on us when we have those options.”
Prowell ran for two scores in the first half and Secrest caught a 38-yard touchdown pass on a seam route in the third quarter to help secure the team’s first win of the year.
“I feel good,” Martin said. “It’s that thing we talk about getting the monkey off our back and learning how to win and finish games. I felt like we did that tonight.
“Hopefully we can take that and build on it next week.”
The Raiders now set themselves up for a drive to a playoff spot with region games against Marshall County and Lawrence County left on the schedule. Spring Hill hosts Richland in Week 8, a game the two schools agreed upon following both teams losing games earlier in the season due to COVID-19.
Spring Hill 35, Maplewood 0
At Buford Gladney Stadium, Columbia
M 0 0 0 0 0
SH 14 7 7 7 35
SH Luka Boylan 1 run (7:41) Brett Hughes kick
|SH Dante Prowell 2 run (3:27) Hughes kick|
|SH Prowell 6 run (7:00) Hughes kick|
|SH Landen Secrest 38 pass from Boylan (4:22) Hughes kick|
|SH Mac Richie 9 run (6:52) Hughes kick|
Maplewood – David Southerland 8-8, Marzeion Jones 2-12, Alvin Hall 1-10, Eric Johns Jr. 2-(-1), Javontez Greer 1-5, Anthony Johnson 4-(-23), Alex Broome 4-21, No. 26 3-1, Maquice Breveard 1-3, Dontez Turner 2-(-2)
Spring Hill – Dante Prowell 3-16, Jarrett Rainey 1-1, Mac Richie 16-65, Luka Boylan 5-(-8), Joel Herring 1-(-6), Kaiden Martin 1-3, Landen Secrest 6-55
Maplewood – Anthony Johnson 2-11-0-1 11
Spring Hill – Luka Boylan 7-12-1-1 97
Maplewood – David Southerland 1-4, James Smith 1-7
Spring Hill – Jaylan Rucker 2-32, Mac Richie 2-6, Landen Secrest 2-43, Isaiah Johnson 1-6