Right from the get go, Springfield churned out yards and put up points in a convincing road win over Rossford on Friday night.
The Blue Devils scored on each of their first three possessions and rolled to a 38-6 victory. Senior running back Elijah Todd bulldozed his way to 200 rushing yards, averaging 10.5 yards per carry. Todd scored on runs of 20 and 11 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Scott Seymour was equally impressive, completing 13 of 20 passes for 186 yards, including TD passes of 28 and seven yards.
At the half, Springfield led 24-0, with the balanced attack chewing up 309 total yards.
“It was great to get off to a good start,” Springfield coach Pat Gucciardo said. “To set the tone on the line of scrimmage offensively and defensively is something we wanted to do.”
PHOTO GALLERY: See more photos from the game.
While Springfield amassed 558 total yards (360 rushing and 198 passing), the Blue Devils’ defense limited Rossford to 195 total yards.
Springfield (2-1) rebounded from a loss to Bowsher last week and pinned the Bulldogs (2-1) with their first setback.
Todd reached the 200 yard mark exactly on an 11-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Springfield a 31-6 lead. Todd, a 6-foot-1, 217-pound bruiser, led the Northern Lakes League in rushing last season.
“My style is leadership,” Todd said. “I try to get everything started, and the team follows behind me, and we get it done. I have determination to get that touchdown and help out the team.”
Springfield scored on Todd's 20-yard scamper to make it 7-0 with 7:11 left in first quarter. Todd set up his own score with tackle-breaking runs of 26, 17, and 16 yards. It took the Blue Devils just five plays and 1:47 to drive 80 yards and score first.
Springfield took a 14-0 lead on a 28-yard pass from Seymour to Navada Parker. His strong throw hit Parker in the back of the end zone with 2:49 left in the first quarter.
“All week in practice it was tough because of the loss last Friday,” Seymour said. “We knew we had to come out on our first drive and set the tone, not only for this week but for the rest of the season.”
Seymour scrambled and found Tevin Stuart for a seven-yard TD and a 21-0 cushion with 6:18 left in the second quarter. Terrance Cole set up a field goal with an interception.
The Blue Devils seized a 24-0 lead with 56.6 left in the first half as Brian Chamberlain booted the 27-yard field goal.
The Blue Devils had five sacks in the first half, including two by Louis Fuller and two by Ross Lonsway. Shaun Davis also had a tackle for loss. Lonsway finished with 12 tackles.
“They have a very difficult offense to defend,” Gucciardo said. “You have to play assignment football. We did a good job containing what they do. We bent but didn't break.”
The last time Rossford started out 2-0 was back in 1992.
The Bulldogs got on the board on a 10-yard pass from Kyle Sherman to Noah Asmus. Rossford saw a promising drive on their first possession fizzle out and never recovered.
Sherman completed 15 of 24 passes for 158 yards. Erik Davis had 22 yards rushing and Dylan Losiewicz had 20. Davis and Noah Asmus led the Bulldog defense with five tackles apiece.
Todd, who rushed for 1,415 yards last season, had 91 yards rushing in the first quarter.
“He's a great, hard runner,” Gucciardo said. “We talked about playing angry and playing tough and running through people. That's the kind of player he is. It was great to see him break a few tackles on that first drive. That got our momentum going.”
Seymour said Todd opens up the passing game.
“Eli helps me out a ton,” Seymour said. “He has the will to win. He has incredible speed and power.”
Springfield had its backups in when Aren Harris scored on a 67-yard run.
The Blue Devils, who have already won more games that they did all of last season, open NLL play against Southview next week.
“If we believe we can play with anyone and we can win, that's half the battle,” said Gucciardo, who is in his second season.
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.