The Decatur Eagles jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game Friday night. But in the final 38 minutes, they found few answers on either side of the ball for the Springtown Porcupines.
Springtown piled up 547 yards of offense and made a pair of stops in the red zone on the way to a 49-21 victory over Decatur at Porcupine Stadium in both teams’ season opener.
“The stats show it and the scoreboard shows it; we were outplayed in every phase of the game,” said Decatur coach Mike Fuller, who made his debut on the Eagles’ sidelines. “We earned this on Monday and Tuesday. We felt sorry for ourselves not wanting to give great effort at practice.
“It is the first game. I’ve had a lot of great seasons where we lost the first game. We didn’t execute like we wanted to and it didn’t turn out the way we wanted. We have to get more competitive.”
Springtown broke open a 28-21 game at halftime with 21 unanswered in the second half.
Quarterback Kaleb Chesney threw for two of his three touchdowns in the second half, including a 55-yard connection to Dillon Springfield.
“They are a good football team. No question about that,” Fuller said.
Chesney blazed the Decatur defense for 311 yards, completing 19 of his 31 passes with an interception.
Springfield caught five passes for 95 yards. He also rushed for 106 and a touchdown.
“It was the first game. We’re going to take everything we missed tonight and learn from it,” said Decatur linebacker Cole Vaughan. “You can’t look at it as a loss. You have to look at it as a learning point.
“We’re not playing our best football yet but we have six weeks to do it.”
To start the game, it looked like Decatur would put on the offensive show, taking the two-touchdown lead. After Payton McAlister broke free for 35 yards, Eddie Martinez plunged in from the 3 for the Eagles’ first score.
Two plays later, Vaughan picked off a Chesney pass at the 35-yard line and returned it to the 24. Decatur needed just four plays from there to find pay dirt on a 1-yard run by McAlister.
McAlister ran for 148 yards on 15 carries in the first half. He finished with 190 yards on 21 carries.
The Decatur lead didn’t last long. Jared Green returned the ensuing kickoff 64 yards to the Decatur 24. Springfield then ran in from 16 yards out on a fourth-and-3 to cut the Eagles’ lead in half, 14-7.
Springtown tied the game at 14 with 8:20 left in the first half, converting again on fourth down. Ryan Snow scored on a fourth-and-goal at the 1 to finish off a 13-play, 80-yard drive for the Porcupines.
Springtown was 3-for-4 on fourth down on the night.
Decatur regained a short-lived lead, 21-14, with Justin Myers hooking up with Ryan Durdon from 23 yards out.
In his first start, Myers finished 9-for-22 for 121 yards with an interception and a touchdown.
The Eagles’ defense couldn’t make the lead hold, giving up scoring drives of 73 and 83 yards in the final 6:37 of the half. After Chesney hit Mykeal Cummings with a 34-yard pass on a third-and-10 at the Decatur 48, the Porcupines scored three plays later on a 5-yard run by Chesney. Chesney ran in the try to put Springtown up 22-21.
When Decatur was stopped at the Springtown 17 with 2:06 left in the half, the Porcupines went on the attack again, needing just eight plays to score. Chesney hit Cummings for a 25-yard touchdown with 28 seconds left in the half to put Springtown up 28-21.
Cummings caught four passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
SPRINGTOWN 49, DECATUR 21
Decatur … 14 … 7 … 0 … … … 0 – 21
Springtown … 7 … 21 … 7 … … 14 – 49
Decatur – 3:43, Eddie Martinez 3 run, Brandon Garza kick
Decatur – 2:23, Payton McAlister 1 run, Garza kick
Springtown – :59, Dillon Springfield 16 run, Mateo Herrera kick
Springtown – 8:20, Ryan Snow 1 run, Herrera kick
Decatur – 6:42, Ryan Durdon 23 pass from Justin Myers, Garza kick
Springtown – 3:32, Kaleb Chesney 5 run, Chesney run
Springtown – :28, Mykeal Cummings 25 pass from Chesney, run failed
Springtown – 8:55, Cummings 19 pass from Chesney, Herrera kick
Springtown – 10:41, Springfield 55 pass from Chesney, Herrera kick
Springtown – 9:54, Snow 1 run, Herrera kick
DECATUR … SPRINGTOWN
First Downs … 17 … 25
Rushes-Yards … 47-265 … 44-236
Passing Yards … 121 … 311
Total Yards … 386 … 547
Comp-Att-Int … 9-22-1 … 21-34-1
Sacks-Yards lost … 4-28 … 3-11
Punts-Avg … 3-31.6 … 3-20
Fumbles-Lost … 4-2 … 2-1
Penalties-Yards … 5-30 … 4-45
Rushing – Decatur, Payton McAlister 21-190, Justin Myers 17-48, Eddie Martinez 6-6, Mario Reyes 3-21. Springtown, Ryan Snow 16-61, Dillon Springfield 10-106, Dawson Hinkley 6-17, Kaleb Chesney 12-52.
Passing – Decatur, Myers 9-22-1-121. Springtown, Chesney 19-31-1-311, Springfield 2-3-0-27.
Receiving – Decatur, Ryan Durdon 5-95, Martinez 2-9, McAlister 1-9, Reyes 1-8. Springtown, Mateo Herrera 5-80, Jared Green 2-18, Springfield 5-95, Ricardo Reynoso 2-21, Snow 2-6, Mykeal Cummings 4-106, Jonathan Chavez 1-12.