The Freshmen Spartans came within one tipped, 4th quarter pass of knocking off visiting Walnut Hills, eventually losing to the Eagles 14-13 at Spartan Stadium.
Walnut Hills started the scoring in the first quarter, putting together a 64-yard drive, capped off by a short quarterback touchdown run, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 6:11 left in the first quarter.
All season long, the young Spartan offense has shown its quick-strike abilities, and on its very next possession, they showed it again. Quarterback Nick Haddad, operating from his own 3-yard line, fired a long pass over the middle to a wide-open Mark Fields. Fields then raced into the end zone from the 50-yard line, nimbly avoiding a last second tackle attempt by an Eagle defender at the 20. Calvin Smith’s point-after kick was good, and the Spartans had tied the score, 7-7, with 5:13 left in the opening quarter.
Then, with just :34 remaining in the first half, Haddad’s right arm struck again, this time hitting wide out Curtis Johnson perfectly in stride for a 63-yard touchdown, as the Spartans took a 13-7 lead into halftime.
After trading possessions for most of the third quarter, the Eagles put together a 70-yard drive, eventually scoring on a quarterback keeper, taking a 14-13 lead into the fourth quarter.
Both teams were held scoreless throughout most of the fourth quarter. The Eagles had a chance to run out the clock late in the quarter, but the Spartan defense held the Eagles on a critical fourth down, giving the ball back to the Spartan offense with 1:42 to play.
The offense moved the ball effectively on their final drive, with Haddad hitting Mark Fields on a screen pass and then Owen Racer up the Turpin sideline to get into Eagle territory. But on a fourth down from the Eagle 38 with :47 to play, a pass down near the Eagle 5-yard line was defended and tipped away by an Eagle defensive back. The Eagles then ran out the clock for the 14-13 win.
The freshmen finished their season with a 3-5 record.
(Many thanks to Michele Johnson for the game pictures)