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Tigers do it again

NEW MIDDLETOWN — In a rematch of Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference rivals, the top-seeded Springfield Tigers swept the eight seeded Western Reserve Blue Devils on the year with a 34-7 victory in a Division VI first-round playoff game Friday night. The Tigers had knocked off the Devils 35-14 back on October 25th.

With the victory, the 11-0 Tigers will advance to play the Glouster Trimble Tomcats (11-0) next Friday night at a location to be named later. The Tomcats beat Southern Local, 26-14, Friday night.

“It was huge. I mean for the seniors it’s our last game playing at home forever, so it was very special to win this game,” Tigers running back David Duvall remarked following his 152-yard performance.

Tigers kicker Clay Medvec celebrated his birthday by keeping the Blue Devils offense bottled up in their own end of the field all night along with a tenacious defense that limited the Devils to just 127 total yards on the night. In the meantime, the Tigers offense pounded the ball on the ground to the tune of 314 yards.

“We’re really good up on the line. Pinning them deep really helps us,” Medvec said. “We have four more games to go.”

“In the playoffs, those yards count,” Tigers head coach Sean Guerriero said of Medvec’s deep kickoffs and punting on the night. “Those are hidden kind of yards, but he is definitely a weapon for us. His kicking abilities are unbelievable.”

“They out quicked us,” Devils head coach Andy Hake said. “They had some real quick guys and their line did a good job sustaining blocks.”

The Tigers scored on their second possession as they drove to the Blue Devils 19 before the drive stalled.

At that point Medvec booted a 36-yard field goal to give the Tigers an early 3-0 lead with 3:56 remaining in the first quarter.

The Tigers took advantage of great field possession at the Devils 40 on their next possession as they only took three plays to score when running back David Duval broke through the center of the line to race 29-yards to score at the 11:24 mark of the second stanza. That gave the Tigers a 10-0 lead.

They closed the first half with another Medvec field goal, this time a 22-yard kick with 3:55 remaining before intermission. That gave the Tigers 13-0 advantage at the break.

The Tigers really put the pressure on the Blue Devils on their first possession of the second half as they only used two plays to score with 9:28 left in the quarter. This time it was a 4-yard run by quarterback Beau Brungard making it 20-0.

“They are a fast, high powered offense,” Western Reserve senior Jimmy Mayberry said. “They have good back and Brungard is a great player. He runs hard and their line blocks well.”

The Blue Devils showed some fight as they scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Nick Cavoulas to Hunter Kiesewetter with 3:50 remaining in the third quarter. That cut the Devils deficit down to 20-7.

It appeared that the Devils had really turned the momentum when they picked off a Brungard pass on the Tiger next possession, but unfortunately for the Devils, they gave the ball right back two plays later on a fumble.

The Tigers took advantage of the Devils miscue as they closed the game with touchdowns by Garrett Walker on a 3-yard pass and a 4-yard run by Chris Shoemaker in the fourth quarter.

Western Reserve closes its season with an 8-3 record, including 6-1 in the MVAC. The Devils bounced back after a disappointing 17-15 loss in week one to put together a seven-game winning streak before they dropped the earlier contest with Springfield.

“Our program is a very proud program,” Hake said. “Our kids play like this every year. To beat us you have to play hard. We don’t lose to teams that don’t play hard. And that team (Springfield) plays hard. A lot of credit to them. I hope they win the whole thing.”

“We had a great season. We had a tight bond between the seniors and the whole team. Every day we showed up to practice and enjoyed each other’s company,” Mayberry said.

W. RESERVE: 0- 0-7- 0– 7

SPRINGFIELD: 3-10-7-14–34

SCORING

SP–Clay Medvec 36 Field Goal

SP–David Duvall 29 run (Medvec Kick)

SP–Medvec 22 Field Goal

SP–Beau Brungard 4 run (Medvec Kick)

WR–Hunter Kiesewetter 35 pass from Nick Cavoulas (Brock Miller Kick)

SP–Garret Walker 3 pass from Brungard (Medvec Kick)

SP–Chris Shoemaker 4 run (Medvec Kick)

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WR SP

First downs 7 15

Total Yards 127 314

Rushes-yards 22-69 39-269

Passing 58 45

Comp-Att-Int 7-16-0 4-7-1

Punts 6-31 2-44

Fumbles-Lost 3-2 0-0

Penalties-Yards 8-54 8-32

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INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING–Western Reserve, Nick Cavoulas 9-27, Lucky Kiesewetter 2-14, Jimmy Mayberry 5-12, Austin Nabb 4-11; Springfield, David Duvall 14-152, Beau Brungard 13-78, Austin Tindell 10-40.

PASSING–Western Reserve, Nick Cavoulas 6-15-43-1-0, Josh Miller 1-1-15-0-0; Springfield, Beau Brungard 4-7-45-1-1.

RECEIVING–Western Reserve, Lucky Kiesewetter 1-35, Todd Henning 3-11; Springield, Garrett Walker 2-23, Evan Ohlin 2-22.

INTERCEPTIONS–Western Reserve, Jimmy Mayberry.

FUMBLE RECOVERIES–Springfield, Bo Snyder 2.