By CAMDEN JOINER
The duel between the McGavock Raiders (0-2) and the Spring Hill Raiders (2-0) was over before it really started, in more ways than one.
Spring Hill maintained a comfortable lead for the duration of the night, eventually defeating McGavock 47-15.
The game, originally scheduled for Friday, August 26, was postponed to the following Saturday due to a weather delay. However, the hindrance had no ill effect on Spring Hill’s performance.
“I’m really glad the administration made the decision to go ahead and move it to tonight,” Spring Hill head coach, Jay Emmons, said after the game. “Gave us a chance to treat it like another game day. Brought them in at the same time, basically the same routine, and the kids came out ready to play.”
One player in particular that was ready from the first whistle was Spring Hill running back Dontae Smith. On the first play from scrimmage, Smith ran the ball 61 yards for a Spring Hill touchdown.
“I was just ready to play after it got cancelled,” Smith said. “Last year we kind of gave up on them, so I felt like we owed it to them.”
McGavock defeated Spring Hill 42-7 last season, but this year’s game featured Spring Hill’s new head coach, Jay Emmons, in his first home game with his new team.
“It was a great atmosphere tonight, Emmons said. “I’m so proud of everybody that came out, and the kids had a blast.”
Spring Hill’s offense revolved heavily around Smith, who scored the Raiders’ first three touchdowns.
He finished with 174 rushing yards on 12 carries (14.5 yards per carry).
“He is a beast,” Emmons said of Smith. “He makes our offense work even when it’s not exactly right. We’ve got to make sure we don’t limit his touches; let him do what he needs to do. But we’ve also got a lot of athletes we need to spread the ball around to.”
Despite sitting out much of the fourth quarter due to Spring Hill’s sizable lead, the majority of Spring Hill’s offensive plays were handed off to Smith. But Smith’s endurance wasn’t fazed by his workload, which he credited to his off-season. “Just grinding, a lot of conditioning, and never stop grinding in the off-season,” he said.
Spring Hill also found success in the passing game with Blake Lovell under center.
After throwing an interception in the red zone, Lovell responded by with a 76-yard touchdown pass to Justin Oden. Oden, a highly sought-after recruit, currently has offers from Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Rutgers, and Ole Miss.
Also scoring touchdowns for Spring Hill were fullback Kennedy Ross, running back Jahmal Steele, and wide receiver Darrin Johnson.
McGavock’s two touchdowns in the game came on a run from Ta’micus Napier and a touchdown pass from senior quarterback, Jamarius Smith.
The Spring Hill Raiders move to 2-0 on the season and will begin division play at Page next week.