SPRINGVILLE — Joe Martin can exhale and rest a bit easier.
Quarterback Cavanaugh Riley ran for four touchdowns and Springville forced six turnovers in a 59-20 rout of West Central in a season-opening 8-player football game Friday night at Allison Field.
“This is the most nerve-wracking opener I’ve had here,” said Martin, the Orioles’ head coach. “There are just so many unknowns. We have some athletic backs, but how was that going to translate? I just didn’t know.”
He has a better idea now.
The Orioles (1-0) jumped all over the Blue Devils in the first half, scoring on their first six possessions and taking a 49-6 lead into intermission.
“The thing that helps us most is our speed,” Riley said. “You can’t take that away. We’re pretty physical for our size. We don’t shy away from contact.”
Riley scored all four of his touchdowns — runs of 13, 5, 12 and 16 yards — in the first quarter, which ended at 42-6. The Orioles racked up 206 yards and 10 first downs in the opening period.
The first Riley touchdown came 1:44 into the game and capped a five-play, 48-yard march.
After a bad snap on a punt set up the Orioles at the West Central 3, Hunter Clark — normally a lineman at 6-foot-7 and 266 pounds — plunged into the end zone.
West Central (0-1) got within 15-6 on Brady Forsyth’s 64-yard TD pass to Collin Kime, then Springville scored the next five touchdowns. The continuous clock was in effect for the entire second quarter.
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Andrew Blakely capped the first-half surge with a 48-yard return after an athletic interception with 2:45 left in the second quarter.
“I was just rolling out; I didn’t expect him to throw it,” Blakely said. “I just had to jump it, then I got a couple good blocks on the way back.”
Springville intercepted three passes (two by Blakely) and recovered three of West Central’s four fumbles.
The Blue Devils got within 52-20 at the end of the third quarter, but Zach March opened the fourth with a 65-yard kickoff return to cap the scoring.
“The score might not show how dominant we were,” Martin said. “But we know what we can do.”
James Fitzgerald drilled a 34-yard field goal, hit five of six PATs (one was blocked) and boomed numerous kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
Springville hosts Central City in a non-district game next Friday.
“That will be a fun one,” Riley said. “This was a solid starting point, but we’ve got to keep going.”
West Central is idle next week.
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