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Spring Hill Bears use ball control to confine Hermitage Hermits until fourth quarter in 33-8 win to up record to 5-0

Spring Hill Coach Greg Smith (at left of enter in blue short-sleeved shirt and blue cap) speaks to his team and surrounding supporters after his team’s 33-8 win against Hermitage.

That Hermitage fielded its team of ten players in its first game of the season, a conference game no less, against a Spring Hill team comfortably at home and very much in rhythm both offensively and defensively was a win in itself. The Hustlin’ Hermits (0-1) even scored a touchdown and a conversion in the fourth quarter. But Spring Hill’s far more numerous and more tested Bears (5-0) prevailed 33-8.

Getting the ball on the game’s first offensive possession on its own 36, Hermitage proceeded, using a series of nice runs and deft passes, to drive to Spring Hill’s 23 before going for it on a fourth and six and coming up with only one rushing yard, handing Spring Hill the ball on downs.

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In the second possession of the game, Spring Hill did some running of its own, with doses of T.J. Tipton and Levin McGuire keepers. Teyton Burton took part, too.  Finally, Cade Watson ran it into the endzone from the two and half yard line. The extra point was no good. Things stood 6-0.

Thanks to a booming kick, Hermitage’s next possession began on its 15. Runs got the Hermits as far as its own 34, but a holding penalty gave ten yards back and their offense stalled from there, punting on a fourth and 13 at their 22 with about 12 minutes left in the quarter. But the snap was low and the punter ended up having to run for the first down. Despite a frantic effort, he was tackled short for the turnover on downs.

Spring Hill started its possession on the Hermitage 25, two Tipton runs yielded a first down at the 11. But the Bears seemed to merely be inching forward from there. Then on a fourth-and-goal at the three, Levin McGuire found Blane Tuttle for a brilliant touchdown pass in traffic. The good extra point made it 13-0.

In Hermitage’s third possession, it seemed Spring Hill finally learned to read the Hermits’ offensive intentions, forcing a three-and-out and punt.

Spring Hill began its next touchdown drive at its own 33, with Jayce Moore taking a turn at quarterback and showing his running prowess for two nice carries. The touchdown was scored by Teyton Barton on a 20-yard rush and the extra point made it 20-0.

An interception by Levin McGuire doing defensive duty ended Hermitage’s ensuing possession after three downs. Starting the new drive from the Hermitage 34, McGuire then threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Cade Watson on its first play. With the PAT no good, the score with 1:56 left in the half was 26-0.

Spring Hill would tack on another touchdown in the second half on a short Tipton run, set up by a previous Tipton run for 45 yards. The extra point was good and the score stood 33-0 where it remain, despite a Reese Tarver interception for Spring Hill returned to the Hermitage 31, until a spectacular 65-yard passing play by Hermitage got the ball to the Spring Hill with a little over three minutes left.

Hermitage would take the touchdown to avoid the shutout on another touchdown pass and complete another pass on a conversion to make things 33-8 for a final.

After the game, Spring Hill Coach Greg Smith praised a Hermitage team that was small in numbers (if three had been injured, the Hermits would not have had enough to continue) but whose endurance and toughness was considerable (only one Hermitage player left the game hurt). “That was their first game of the year. They played so hard on the football team, good looking football team really. Hats off to them and their staff. Great job.”

The game was a continuation, Smith said, of the improvement of the Bears’ offensive line. “We did what we wanted to do offensively. We just kind of ran the football most of the night. And just established some things, but we wanted to for our offensive line. Our offensive line’s getting so much better every week. We’re really proud of those guys how hard they’re working,” Smith said.

Spring Hill got 230 yards rushing and 302 total yards in the game and had no turnovers. Quarterback Levin McGuire threw 3/4 for 72 yards and two touchdowns. T.J. Tipton had another good game with 125 yards rushing.

Correction: Paragraph seven has been changed to reflect that the touchdown was scored by Teyton Barton rather than another player. SWARK.Today regrets the error.

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