Springfield comes up short against St. Xavier in state semifinals

Wildcats force five turnovers but lose in final four for second straight season

Missed opportunities in the red zone, penalties and special-teams mistakes kept the Springfield Wildcats from advancing to the state championship game for the first time.

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Springfield lost 12-10 to Cincinnati St. Xavier on Friday in a Division I state semifinal at Alexander Stadium in Piqua. The Wildcats lost despite coming up with five turnovers — four interceptions (two by Delian Bradley) and a fumble recovery (also Bradley) — and not committing a turnover itself.

St. Xavier cut a 10-3 halftime deficit to 10-9 on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Brogan McCaughey to Liam Clifford with 4:55 left in the third and then took the lead on a 21-yard field goal by Mason Rohmiller with 3:17 left in the third.

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St. Xavier blocked what would have been a go-ahead 29-yard field-goal by Springfield with 8:42 left in the fourth. A false start on the previous play made that a longer attempt than it should have been.

Springfield was unable to threaten again, and its season ended in the state final four for the second straight season. It lost 31-24 to Cincinnati Elder in Piqua last season.

St. Xavier will play Pickerington Central, which beat Mentor 38-31, in the state championship game on Nov. 13 at Fortress Obetz on the south side of Columbus.

Springfield led 10-3 at halftime. Devin Stamper ended St. Xavier’s opening drive with an interception.

St. Xavier tried a fake punt on its second drive, but Springfield was ready and stopped the runner short of a first down.

Cole Yost got Springfield on the board with 4:36 left in the first quarter, kicking a 36-yard field goal.

Xavier tied the game with 10 minutes left in the second quarter on a 24-yard field goal by Mason Rohmiller.

On its next possession, Springfield answered with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Te’Sean Smoot to Anthony Brown. The Wildcats led 10-3 with 7:56 remaining in the half.

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Springfield’s defense came up with a stop on 4th-and-1 near midfield and took over with 4:36 left in the half. Then on St. Xavier’s final drive of the half, Springfield’s Delian Bradley picked off a pass on 4th-and-2, giving Springfield the ball at the St. Xavier 15-yard line. The Wildcats ran off the rest of the clock with a couple first downs.

In the third quarter, Springfield had a chance to push its lead to 17-3 on its first drive, but a drop near the goal line led to a field-goal attempt from 34 yards, which missed. Later in the quarter, Springfield was stopped on fourth down in the red zone.

Smoot finished with 195 yards on 9-of-23 passing. He rushed for 105 yards on 23 carries. Brown led the Wildcats with five catches for 141 yards.

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