Springfield vs Independence Seth Grand Jatorius Buggage

Springfield's Seth Grand (5) gets the snap as Jatorius Buggage anticipates the handoff against Independence.

Springfield put together a solid all-around effort to cruise to a 56-8 win over Broadmoor at Istrouma to open the season Friday.

“We’re pleased with the end result of everything,” Springfield coach Ryan Serpas said after Jatorius Buggage rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns and Ivan Fletcher caught two touchdowns. “There’s a lot of things that we still need to clean up. It’s early in the season. We’re still making a lot of mistakes, so nothing by far is perfect, and especially after a short week of practice and really only three days of practice. It wasn’t like we were able to do a whole lot in those three days, but the retention from the kids was good in our base stuff that we worked on from before the storm. The kids did a good job of executing and making plays.”

The Bulldogs forced a three-and-out, setting up a 22-yard touchdown pass from Seth Grand to Ivan Fletcher, who also connected on the two-point pass to make the score 8-0.

After another three-and-out from the Springfield defense, Britton Allen returned a punt to the Broadmoor 24, setting up a 14-yard touchdown pass from Grand to Fletcher for a 14-0 lead, which held until the end of the first quarter.

“Those two have done a great job of making that connection on the field,” Serpas said of Grand and Fletcher. “And then we kind of got the running game as well with Rick Vicknair and Jatorius Buggage. Real happy that all of those guys got involved.”

Grand went 7-for-12 for 131 yards and three touchdowns, while Fletcher had six catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bulldog defense stepped up again to get a fourth-down stop at its own 41.

“Overall, we had a great defensive effort, really kind of led up front,” Serpas said. “Those guys did a great job on the front lines and then Ayden McAlister playing that middle linebacker position, this was the first time that we’ve asked him to do anything like that, and he did a good job of coming downhill and making plays. Secondary-wise, they were a heavy run team, and those guys did a great job of getting involved in the game as well.

“Still some blown assignments and some things that we need to get better on, but those guys were real resilient and did a great job,” Serpas continued. “This gives us something to go back and watch and try to correct those few mistakes that we made and hopefully get better.”

A holding call against the Bulldogs set up a second-and-37, but Buggage caught a 33-yard swing pass to keep the drive going. Vicknair capped the drive with a 28-yard TD reception from Grand, and Nick Fletcher’s two-point run pushed the lead to 22-0.

Broadmoor scored on a 12-yard run and got a two-point conversion for its lone score before Ivan Fletcher returned the ensuing kickoff to the BHS 26, but the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs.

Springfield recovered an onside kick at the Broadmoor 39 to open the second half, and Buggage had a 22-yard run on third-and-8 to keep the drive going. Allen had a 28-yard reception that got the Bulldogs inside the Broadmoor 10.

“Britton hasn’t had the big breakout that we were kind of expecting or looking for yet, but he’s done such a great job of being a good teammate and blocking and springing some of those other guys that he’s definitely a guy who, as more attention is being given toward Ivan because Ivan’s having such a great opening to this year, Britton’s only going to become more and more of a factor moving forward,” Serpas said.

That set up Nick Fletcher’s 3-yard touchdown run, and the two-point conversion failed, making the score 28-8.

Following another Broadmoor punt, Buggage had a 42-yard run on the first play of the drive, setting up Buggage’s 18-yard touchdown run for a 34-8 lead.

Allen recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Luke Husser hit a 13-yard pass for Ivan Fletcher to set up Nick Fletcher’s 24-yard touchdown run for a 40-8 lead.

A fumble recovery for a touchdown by Springfield’s Trevor Sanchez was called back on a penalty, setting up Buggage’s 25-yard touchdown run and a two-point pass from Husser to Ivan Fletcher for a 48-8 lead.

“He had some big plays, and he’s starting to see the holes a little better,” Serpas said of Buggage. “We can really tell that he’s reading his blocks and setting things up really well. Once he gets into space, he doesn’t have blazing speed or anything, but he is shifty and he’s hard to bring down. He’s got great balance, and if he gets into the open field, he can definitely bring it to the house. He’s a kid that he’s only a sophomore. We’re expecting him to only get better as the season goes on. The thing is, if he just continues to keep improving week in and week out, he’s going to have an exceptional year for us.”

In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs recovered a fumble, setting up a 35-yard touchdown run by Buggage after a fumbled snap. Nick Fletcher’s two-point run capped the scoring.

“It’s a great start to the season,” Serpas said. “We’re kind of glad to have this under our belt. With the circumstances we’ve been dealt, it’s been kind of a big build up for this, and I really think the kids came out kind of with a chip on their shoulder and really wanted to prove that they were ready for this season. They did a great job on Friday night and played together and played for each other. I’m proud of their effort, and I’m proud that they represented our community well and our school well. It gives us something to look at and build on and hopefully continue to get better as it goes.”

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