Trojans top Tigers in shootout

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Springfield’s Isaac Fink leaps to catch the ball during the first half of the Tigers’ game against Ortonville Friday in Springfield at Sticker Field.

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield quarterback Decker Scheffler had a shot at the end zone with 6 seconds to go at the Ortonville 21-yard line on Friday. His pass was intercepted in the end zone by Tyson Powell as time expired, though, allowing Ortonville to hang on to a 38-35 shootout win in Southwest District football action at Sticker Field.

Scheffler still turned in a strong performance under center, going 20 for 40 for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also ran for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Springfield, trailing 38-35, had the ball on its own 46 after a short kickoff with 44 seconds to play. Two nice completions to Jordan Kieper had the Tigers within scoring distance, but it wasn’t to be for the Tigers.

The Tigers struggled offensively in the first half with more than a few dropped passes, two punts and a turnover on a fumble.

“I think the wind made a difference in that first half,” Springfield head coach Bob Fink said. “We were going against a stiffer wind, but we really started to gel in that second half, and I’m just really proud of the kids’ character. It was a back-and-forth game, we never gave up, and the team with the ball at the end was going to win, we just ran out of time.”

Springfield trailed 10-0 before a 37-yard completion to Isaac Fink set the Tigers up at the Trojans’ 10-yard line in the second quarter. A 1-yard plunge up the middle by Curtis Tauer put the first 6 points on the board for the Tigers and after the extra point kick was good, Springfield trailed 10-7 going into the half.

An 81-yard touchdown run by Scheffler down the sideline put the Tigers up 14-10 after an extra point early in the third quarter. The Trojans took a 17-14 lead back from Springfield on their next possession.

A 37-yard completion down the field to Kieper gave the Tigers the ball at the Ortonville 8-yard line with less than six minutes to go in the third. Tauer then ran the ball in on the next play for an 8-yard touchdown run to give Springfield a 21-17 lead after the extra point with 4:52 to go in the third.

Ortonville retook the lead in the final two minutes of the third before Nolan Hovland intercepted a pass at the Trojans’ 44 in the fourth, helping lead Springfield to a Hovland touchdown reception of 6 yards and a 28-24 lead. Scheffler completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Hovland later on to give the Tigers a 35-31 edge, but Ortonville responded quickly by marching down the field for the game’s final touchdown, a 1-yard run by Powell.

“Decker Scheffler did an outstanding job,” coach Fink said. “He showed toughness and grit and made big plays when we needed them. He’s only going to get better and that’s scary.”

Hovland had five catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns for Springfield, while Kieper had 10 catches for 97 yards. Tauer and Mason Rummel each led the Tigers with 10 total tackles apiece, while Noah Solmonson and James Ploeger had seven and six tackles, respectively. Xander Asmus and Tauer each added a sack for the Tigers.

Springfield is at Murray County Central for a 7 p.m. meeting Friday.