Our goal is to win the region championship. This gave us a better opportunity —Willy Child
The Springville players were bottled up most of the first half, but the Red Devils took advantage of several missed opportunities and turnovers by Region 8 rival Skyridge in the second half and ended the Falcons’ undefeated streak with a 19-10 victory.
Ty Eriksson passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as Springville improved to 5-3 overall and 3-0 in region. The Red Devils already clinched the 5A playoff berth but now have their sights on more.
“Our goal is to win the region championship. This gave us a better opportunity,” was all Springville coach Willy Child had to say.
His players, however, were a lot more emotional, gathering together in a circle near midfield and singing.
“They (the coaches) asked us to dig deep,” said Eriksson. “We had to do more than just our assignments.
“We came out ready in the second half.”
And they started right away. The Red Devils trailed 7-0 at halftime and had generated less than 50 yards total offense. The score could have been worse, too, but Skyridge’s Jai Satiu had his nifty 71-yard touchdown reception with less than a minute left negated by an illegal block penalty.
“We certainly had our chances,” said Skyridge coach Jon Lehman. “We controlled a lot of the first half. They made the plays and we didn’t, and that was the difference.”
Skyridge even had a chance to extend the lead, taking the second-half kickoff. The Falcons had a good return, but fumbled on the first play, and Owen Rowe recovered. A few minutes later, Eriksson finished the drive with a 1-yard sneak on fourth down to tie the game.
It wasn’t long before the Red Devils threatened again and Springville picked up more momentum when Eriksson somehow avoided Skyridge’s heavy rush and found Trae Hillstead with a short pass into the end zone.
Eriksson didn’t recall exactly how he did it.
“Those were some big plays,” he said. “We just made ’em when we had to.”
The final nail came when the Red Devils recovered a fumbled punt near midfield and Eriksson directed a drive that ended with a 17-yard scoring pass to Jaeden Church.
Springville spent the remaining time waiting to celebrate, and it was fortunate as Skyridge’s series of errors didn’t end. The Falcons had plenty of good fortune in building a 7-0 record, and Lehman said he’s looking forward to starting a new streak beginning next week against Maple Mountain.
Bruce Smith grew up in Boise and is a longtime newspaper sports writer. He writes primarily high school sports articles for the Deseret News.