SPRINGVILLE — Opening night for the Springville football team was the Zach March Show.
March, a senior wide receiver, scored five touchdowns as the Orioles kicked off the season with a 52-28 win over Winfield-Mount Union in 8-player action before a big Week 0 crowd Friday night on Springville’s home field.
Four of March’s five scores came on big plays. He had TD catches of 53 and 25 yards, and returned a pair of kickoffs 67 yards for a touchdown. He also added a 5-yard TD pass late in the contest.
The game was close throughout the first half as both teams relied on big plays. The visiting Wolves had a 70-yard kickoff return for a score from senior Brandon Snowden.
Springville led 20-16 after the first quarter and there was no more scoring until the final minute of the half when the teams combined for four scores before the break.
Winfield-Mount Union quarterback Daunte Oepping went over from the 2 with 1:03 left in the half. March followed with the first of his kickoff returns to counter for Springville.
Then it was Wolves fullback Andrew Brady breaking away for 42-yard score with 23 seconds left. March then scored on a second straight kickoff return to make it 32-28 Springville at the break.
It looked like the game would be close the rest of the way, but the Wolves’ chances were dashed when Oepping — after making a spectacular intereption, his third of the game — came down on his neck and head.
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He had movement in his legs, but medical personnel was brought in and he was placed on a backboard and eventually taken to a hospital to be examined. There was no report on his condition as of the end of the game.
With Oepping out of the game, the Wolves offense was severely limited. They were forced to rely even more on tailback Juanito Piper, who did end up rushing for 102 yards on 21 carries. Winfield-Mount Union was forced to turn to freshman Noah Sparrow at QB and he was overmatched by an inspired Oriole defense that pitched a shutout after halftime.
March finished with six catches for 175 yards and three scores. Junior quarterback Kyle Koppes completed 10 of 22 passes for 206 yards and three scores, but was also picked off three times by Oepping before he left the game.
Spencer DeMean led the Orioles in rushing with 48 yards on seven carries. He left the game in the second quarter after taking a hard hit that left him shaken up.
Springville is back home next Friday night against Tripoli.