SPRINGVILLE — The Springville Red Devils hoisted a big Region 6 trophy at midfield Thursday night after using big plays to finish off a big 10-0 regular season.
Behind the running of senior freight train Trevyn Smith, Springville posted 28 first-half points and then coasted in the mud to a 31-7 victory over rival Spanish Fork. The victory gives the Red Devils the league title outright and also gives them a first-round home game in the state playoffs next Friday.
"These kids are seniors, they've experienced highs and they've experienced let-downs, but I expect them to be on top of their game and be ready to play next week," Springville coach Doug Bills said. "It's the state playoffs and they know what that means. They've had a great season and they're prepared to keep it going."
Smith, who scored twice and rushed for 171 yards, finishes the regular season with 1,817 yards rushing — the most in Utah and the highest single-season total in school history. He's also scored 20 touchdowns this season.
His 73-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first half was a stamp on his season and the dagger in the Dons' chances of avoiding a playoff marathon in the coming week. With eight seconds remaining in the second quarter and everyone thinking Springville would simply run out the clock and head to the warm locker room, Smith took a hand-off near the 27-yard line and squirted through the right side and toward the sideline. He bounced off two tacklers and then appeared to be in the grasp of a host of Dons near the Spanish Fork bench. However, they couldn't get him down and he eventually broke loose and outran everyone down the sideline. Time expired just as he reached pay dirt.
"Trevyn has done that so many times," Bills said. "He looks like they have him bottled up but he finds a way to break loose and turn it into a big gain."
That touchdown put the Red Devils up 28-7 and deflated the Dons. Both teams struggled in the mud in the second half, with the only scoring in the final two quarters being a 32-yard field goal early in the final period by Springville's Nathan Teuscher.
Despite the lopsided score, it wasn't one of Springville's better games. The Red Devils were called for several costly penalties, one that brought back a 43-yard Smith touchdown run, and committed three turnovers. They also gave up several big gains to Spanish Fork's shifty running back Nick Welsh — one a 51-yard touchdown scamper late in the first quarter that trimmed the score to 14-7.
Fortunately for the Red Devils, the Dons couldn't capitalize on the turnovers, and Spanish Fork was also guilty of many untimely penalties.
Springville used the big play to take command of the sloppy game. The first was a 46-yard run by Smith on the opening drive that set up a 5-yard scoring pass from Scott Pickering to Tanner Rehrer. The second was a blocked field goal by Matt Johnson that was picked up by Travis Pope, who rambled 83 yards to put the Red Devils up 14-0. Smith's long run right before intermission was the other.
Spanish Fork will join Provo and Payson in a three-way tiebreaker game on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Provo High. The winner of the tiebreaker will face Timpanogos on Tuesday for Utah County's seventh and final spot in the state playoffs.