Sports Zone

Springfield falls to defending champs

The Springfield Millers football team played in their first playoff game since 2015 last Friday. Unfortunately for the No. 10 Millers, they drew the defending champs in the first round in No. 7 Silverton. Springfield fought valiantly, but the defending champs prevailed and Silverton won 42-18.

On a rainy and windy night in Silverton, the problems started early for the Millers. Just 90 seconds into the game a snap miscue allowed Silverton’s Diego Flores to jump on the ball in the endzone, giving the Foxes a 7-0 lead before their offense even took the field.

“I think it just got in our heads a little bit. The weather part of it. I thought we played hard,” said Miles Haley, Springfield head coach. “We just didn’t execute … We were moving the ball just fine … there were just too many times where we got ourselves in second or third and long just because of snap issues.”

The fumble recovery helped Silverton jump out to a 21-0 first quarter lead, and Springfield was left playing catch-up the entire game. 

“Once we settled in, we were fine, and we played pretty tough in the second half,” said Haley. “Just, you know, the lack of any consistency just did us in.”

Connor Dye ran for 197 yards and two touchdowns for the Millers, and Dwayne Fotta returned a fourth-quarter punt for a touchdown, his third return for a touchdown this season.

While Springfield’s year is over, the season was a big step forward for the program. Haley inherited a program with a history of not making the playoffs, and he knew it wouldn’t be easy.

“I think for me, coming in here a few years ago, it was learning how to win … Building a foundation where you can be a perennial winner,” he said. “The thing we always said was the last place a turnaround is going to show up is the scoreboard. And so this year, to me, it was kind of that part happened, where we got to win games.”

Friday’s loss was especially emotional for Haley, as the senior class were freshman in his first season as coach. Now he looks forward though, and the future seems brighter than it has in a long time for Springfield football.

“I think we’ve taken a big step, and I think that’ll be reflected as we look forward to the next year … When preseason stuff is out, I think you’re gonna see us pop up a little bit more in preseason previews and all that,” Haley said. “We’re kind of focusing on the journey and it’s a pretty special thing.”




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