Spring Hill tops Ottawa
By David Svoboda PrepsKC staff writer
On Oct. 11, Spring Hill was just 1-5 and reeling after a disappointing 20-17 loss at Ottawa.
Oh, what a difference 25 days – and a healthy senior quarterback – makes.
The Broncos have run off four consecutive victories since their loss to the Cyclones, including Tuesday night’s playoff rematch with Ottawa at Spring Hill – this one by an impressive 33-15 count in a game that was not nearly as close as the final score would indicate.
Spring Hill, now 5-5 on the year, advances to face Piper, 6-4, on Saturday at Spring Hill in a Kansas Class 4A regional matchup. Ottawa saw its season come to an end at 5-5.
Spring Hill quarterback Trevor Cluck – who missed five games early in the year with a knee injury – spearheaded the Bronco attack, running for one touchdown and throwing for three others in a game that was 33-0 before Coach Anthony Orrick began running second- and third-teamers onto the field with about three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Cluck ended the night with 74 yards through the air – and all three of his completions were, as mentioned earlier, for scores. He also had six rushes for 60 yards in piloting a Bronco offense that took advantage of short fields and a steady hand from its newly-healthy leader.
“We missed him the first five games,” Orrick said of Cluck, the 6-foot-3 senior. “Just his ability to check things on the field, his ability to get us out of bad things…his leadership alone is just huge.”
Round Two of Ottawa vs. Spring Hill in 2013 was lopsided from an impressive opening possession by Spring Hill, due in large part to Ottawa’s offensive woes – which included an interception, a fumble, and giving up the ball on downs on two separate occasions in the opening half.
In addition, the Cyclones failed to handle two kickoffs – adding insult to injury on this cold, wet night.
“We knew if we could take advantage early it would be a big plus for us,” Orrick said of the early momentum his team was able to establish.
The Broncos drove 65 yards in five plays on their opening march before Cluck took off on a bootleg run in front of his own bench for a 49-yard TD scamper. Bad knee? Not evident here. The score was 7-0 following the PAT.
On the ensuing kickoff, Skylar Martin of Ottawa failed to corral a pooch kick, and Spring Hill recovered on the Cyclone 30.
Just four plays later, the Broncos were again in the end zone. This TD came on a 15-yard trap play run by senior tailback Lincoln Smith that made it 14-0 Spring Hill just 4:30 into the contest.
Early in quarter number two, Cluck made a beautiful play fake and found a wide open Drew Cygan for the 28-yard touchdown that made it 20-0 after the PAT kick was missed right. The drive was a solid five-play, 63-yarder that was also highlighted by a 22-yard run by junior Tyus Heinrich.
The final touchdown of the opening half for the Broncos came on another Cluck pass, this one to Austin Jager for 20 yards. The point after kick was again missed, and it stayed 26-0 until intermission.
Spring Hill got its last touchdown of the raw, rainy night on Cluck’s second connection with Cygan, this one for 26 yards with 3:27 left in the third quarter.
Ottawa’s two scores included a one-yard drive following a fumble by the Spring Hill second-team offense on its own one, and a nifty 60-yard burst by Cyclone senior Tyler Brown with just 27 seconds left in the contest.
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