Something strange happened on the way to a 2-0 start for the Reeds Spring High School football team.
The Wolves took a 16-0 lead on Seneca after scoring on their first possession of the third quarter in the home opener at Langley Field on Friday night.
Reeds Spring had Colton Cramblett running wild (again), with quarterback Sean Gross piloting an effective passing game and the team’s defense holding the Indians to 61 yards of total offense on their first six possessions.
Then the turnover bug struck the Wolves.
Reeds Spring lost three fumbles on its final five possessions, finished with five lost fumbles in all, and Seneca capitalized.
The Indians scored touchdowns on their next four possessions following Reeds Spring’s final score, rallying for a 28-16 victory.
“Seneca is a quality team,” Reeds Spring coach Lance Gosch said. “You can’t do that against a good ballclub.
“I thought our kids played hard, but the mistakes really bit us in the butt.”
On Seneca’s four touchdown drives in the second half, two of them were set up by Reeds Spring fumbles, with one of them a huge momentum swing early in the fourth quarter.
With the game tied at 16, Reeds Spring lost a fumble on a third-and-goal play from the Seneca 3-yard line. The Indians recovered and embarked on a 98-yard drive to take the lead for good.
Seneca’s final score came after a 12-yard punt gave the Indians the ball on their own 45-yard line. The next play was a 55-yard TD run and gave the visitors a 28-16 lead.
“These are things that can be cleaned up,” Gosch said. “That’s going to be the focus this week, to control the things that we can control.
“We’ll just keep working on it and make sure that is our focus in practice.”
While there was disappointment with how Friday’s game ended, the Reeds Spring coaching staff is encouraged by the fact the team was not manhandled or outclassed at all.
“If we were just getting dominated on the line of scrimmage, that would be another matter,” Gosch said. “But these are mistakes that we can work on fixing.”
The Wolves couldn’t have had a better start to the game, with a 14-play, 59-yard drive that included three third-down conversions and a fourth-down conversion. It ended with a 5-yard touchdown from Cramblett.
“When we did things the right way, we had some success,” Gosch said.
“The first drive of the ball game was one of the best drives I’ve ever been around. About seven minutes, we ended it with a touchdown and that set us up real well going forward.”
Cramblett added a 21-yard field goal in the second quarter, and Gross had a 43-yard run early in the third quarter to make it a 16-0 game.
Cramblett followed up his 222-yard, 3-TD game in the opener with 175 yards and a score on 21 rushes on Friday, and Gross added 85 yards rushing, plus 94 yards passing, on 11-of-13 efficiency.
“Sean did a nice did a nice job throwing the ball, and he was able to hook up with Al Chavez and Kolton Gutting on some nice plays,” Gosch said. “That was a big plus, and it’s something we’re going to have to keep doing and keep improving at.
“Eventually, somebody is going to be able to shut down Colton and Sean, and we’re going to need that part of our offense to come through.”
Next up for the Wolves is a trip to Logan-Rogersville, where they will find a Wildcats’ team coming off a high – a 53-20 victory over McDonald County.
It snapped a 12-game losing streak and was the most points scored by Logan-Rogersville since 2012.
“Watching film on them, it’s clear that Coach (Mark) Talbert is doing a good job with them and has them playing well and with confidence.
“They are athletic and have a couple of kids who are scary when they get into space. There’s nothing that’s going to be easy about this game. “It should be a fun one to watch.”