— By GREG WEBB
SPRINGTOWN — The near-capacity crowd attending the Springtown-Graham match on Friday was treated to a bevy of Homecoming queen candidates at halftime, bedecked to near perfection.
The Pojo fans also witnessed an opening drive by Springtown’s offense that unfortunately was the nearest to perfection the Porcupines would get for the rest of the evening.
After receiving the opening kickoff and setting up shop at their own 27-yard line, sophomore quarterback Landry Turner engineered a crisply efficient march that exploited each nook and cranny of the Steers defense.
The 14-play drive (eight passing, six running), persistently bit off chunks of yardage the Graham defenders seemed powerless to stop.
The clockwork-like drive culminated with Ryan Snow’s 6-yard run. The drive had taken three and a half minutes, capped by Eric Avalos’ point-after kick.
Graham answered back in just over a minute when senior quarterback Ben Davis took the pigskin 50 yards on the series’ fifth play.
With the theme of the game seemingly set after Pojo made three first downs to start the next series, the balance was upset when the Steers’ Nick Martin picked off a pass at the 30-yard line and raced the distance for a 70-yard pick-six.
“That first drive we had is how it is supposed to work,” said Springtown head coach Brad Turner. “It seems like our focus just got out of whack after the big interception return in that second series.
“Graham is a state-ranked team in the top ten and they showed that tonight. We just got whipped.”
When the next Springtown offensive series ended with a multi-tipped interception resembling a volleyball match, the Steers were off to the races.
Setting up at the Porcupines 14, Davis scored three plays later on a 3-yard run.
A Springtown three-and-out led to a first-play, big-play from Graham when Davis found speedster Dillon Gonzales with a 73-yard scoring toss.
Springtown never recovered and was beat up in the process.
“Graham is a big, physical team,” Turner said. “We sat four players tonight.”
Thankfully, the Porcupines will have some time to lick their wounds, and egos, as they draw a bye in the coming week. Following the off week, Springtown will host Kennedale in what will likely turn out to be a very pivotal game for District 6-3A concerns.
“We will take the week off and get healed up and prepare for Kennedale,” Turner said. “We feel like this will probably be the game that determines the district champion.”