It was a beautiful night for Spring Hill’s home game against the Marvell Mustangs, who traveled almost three and a half hours for the matchup.
Marvell opened with an onside kick to the Bears, giving them possession at their own 48. An off sides flag gave the Bears first and five, followed by a run by Levin McGuire for a gain, giving Spring Hill a first down. Unfortunately, the Mustangs’ defense held the Bears for the next three downs, forcing a turnover at the 34-yard line.
Marvell picked up a quick gain to the Bears’ 41, and a breakaway run by Marvell gave the Mustangs their first touchdown. Their two-point conversion was good, putting Marvell ahead, 8-0.
Another onside kick by Marvell gave Spring Hill the ball at their own 40, and Levin McGuire gained five yards rushing for second and five. An incomplete pass followed, and the next rush was stopped by the Mustang defense. The fourth down snap went wild, was recovered by Colin Purifoy, but a tackle brought the Bears up short of a first down.
Marvell took control of the turnover at the Bears’ 36, and a penalty before the play put them at first and 15. A six-yard rush gained them second and nine, and a rush up the left side gained them another three yards. Third down brought another gain, giving Marvell a first down. With the Mustangs scrambling for yardage, the Spring Hill defense held strong, forcing a turnover on downs.
The Bears tried their best to get by the Marvell defense, but were forced to punt from the Mustangs’ 20-yard line. The Spring Hill kicker put the ball all the way downfield for 75 yards, putting Marvell at the Bears’ five-yard line. The Mustangs did their best to make up yardage over the next three plays, earning themselves a first down at the 45-yard line. Three more yards on the next rush got them to the 48, and they crossed the 50-yard line on second and seven, stopping at the Bears’ 43. A fumble on the first down was recovered by the Mustangs, and the next rush was stopped by the Spring Hill defense at the 25-yard line. That ended the first quarter and, after switching end zones, Marvell drove up the middle for their second touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, leaving the score at 14-0 in favor of Marvell.
Another onside kick left the Bears at the 41-yard line. An incomplete pass on their first down led to a complete pass to Colin Purifoy, but his pushing of the defender meant that his run to the end zone wasn’t counted, putting the Bears back at the 36. A big tackle on the next play lost Spring Hill 2 yards, putting them at third and twelve, and an incomplete pass on fourth down gave the Mustangs possession at the Bears’ 42-yard line.
Teyton Barton and Eli Pierce dove past the Mustang defense to tackle their quarterback on Marvell’s next play, but a run on their second down left Marvell at third and short at the 33-yard line. A fumble was recovered by Dalton Glover, giving the Bears possession at their own 40-yard line.
Spring Hill called a timeout, and a complete pass got them to Marvell’s 45. A hit in the backfield for a big loss, however, left Spring Hill at second and nineteen at their own 46. Cade Watson took off with the ball, but a holding penalty set the Bears back to second and 29. Undeterred, a long pass to Purifoy and a run that was stopped just short of the end zone put the Bears in touchdown range despite a five yard penalty. Eight yards from the goal line, a pair of incomplete passes was followed by a tackle in the backfield, putting Spring Hill at fourth and 17. Another incomplete pass turned the ball over to Marvell.
A six-yard rush got the Mustangs to second and four, and their next rush got them a first down at the 31-yard line. Marvell’s De’Kylon Arnold broke free of Spring HIll’s defense, sprinting downfield for another Marvell touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, leaving the score 20-0 for Marvell with 3:30 left in the first half.
Yet another onside kick was received by the Bears at their own 43. The boys from Spring Hill got the ball across midfield to the 49 for second and two, then a complete pass to Purifoy got the Bears their first touchdown. The conversion was good, leaving the score at 20-8 for Marvell.
The Mustangs received at the 15, immediately followed by a Marvell timeout. A motion penalty set Marvell back to first and 15, and a quarterback sack gave them a loss in yardage, putting them at second and 16. Marvell was flagged for delay of game and set back to second and 21. An incomplete pass left them at third and 21, but their next pass gained them 19 yards, putting them at fourth and two. Another run got them to the 34 yard line for a first down, and a complete pass was stopped by Levin McGuire. An incomplete pass with about 40 seconds left in the half brought the Mustangs to fourth and five, and another incomplete pass turned the ball over to the Bears at the Mustangs’ 40.
A pass to Purifoy got the Bears to the five-yard line, and a rush got Spring Hill their second touchdown with about 10 seconds left in the half. The conversion was no good, leaving the score at 20-14. Marvell received at the ten-yard line with eight seconds left, and earned another delay of game penalty at the end of the first half.
At halftime, Spring Hill honored their past players, as 2021 marks 20 years of Spring Hill football. Unfortunately, the celebration was marred by an issue with the sound system, but the fans were more than happy to support their alumni players despite the audio issue.
The third quarter started out with the Bears recovering their own onside kick at the 47-yard line. They gained midfield on second down, and a face mask penalty against Marvell got the Bears to the 35-yard line. Unfortunately, a pair of incomplete passes earned Spring Hill third and ten. A short run got them to the 30-yard line, but an incomplete pass on fourth down resulted in a turnover.
Marvell controlled the ball for the next several minutes, doing their best to try to break the Bears’ defensive line, but ten plays and three first downs wasn’t enough to earn another touchdown. They turned over a fourth down to Spring Hill at the 27-yard line.
Spring Hill’s offense pushed forward in turn, gaining yardage slowly against a determined Marvell defense. The Bears earned a couple of first downs as they slugged it out with the Mustang defensive line, but it wasn’t enough and Marvell took possession on a turnover at their own 41-yard line with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
Marvell started their possession with a timeout, and their first rush went down at the 46. A sprint up the middle resulted in a fumble, but the ball was recovered by the Mustangs before the Bears could take advantage. With 53 seconds left, the Mustangs got their third official delay of game penalty, putting them at first and 15, but their next run gained them the Bears’ 40-yard line before the end of the quarter.
The Mustangs’ rushing game ground to a halt against the Spring Hill defenders over the next three downs, but the managed to get enough yardage for a couple of first downs before an off sides penalty set them back enough for the Bears to force a turnover on yardage.
Spring Hill took possession and managed to gain the 20-yard line, putting them at second and eight. An interception by the Mustangs gave them possession at the Bears’ 45 after declining a holding penalty. Their first down got them to the 36, one yard shy of a first down. Marvell’s #7 ran the ball on the next play, busting loose of the Spring Hill defense and getting the Mustangs their next touchdown. The conversion was good, putting the score at 28-14 with 5:27 seconds left.
The Bears received another onside kick at their own 39-yard line. A rush for eight yards left them at second and two. On the next play, an interception was caught by a Marvell player and returned to the Bears’ 33-yard line before a fumble on the same play was recovered by Spring Hill. The Bears managed to gain two first downs, putting them at the 47. Marvell called a timeout, and the next play by McGuire gained the Bears seven yards. At second and three, however, a pass interception gave Marvell possession at the 35-yard line.
The Mustangs called a timeout with three minutes left in the game, before their next two downs left them at fourth and seven. Marvell earned their fourth delay of game penalty, putting them at fourth and 12 with 1:50 left in the game. They punted, and the Bears took possession at the 43.
An incomplete pass led to a dropped snap, which was quickly recovered. Spring Hill’s quarterback was clipped low by a Marvell player, sending him flying, and the officials ruled the ball as down at the 41 with 1:08 left on the clock. Another interception followed, giving Marvell possession at their own 41 with one minute left.
The Mustangs took a knee, followed by a Bears’ timeout. Then another knee by Marvell as the clock ran. A knee later, the game ended at 28-14 in favor of Marvell.