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High school football: Springville holds off Riverton to remain unbeaten

Springville’s Seth Rigtrup carries the ball
Springville’s Seth Rigtrup, wearing a black helmet and a white jersey, carries the ball during the first quarter of Springville’s win over Riverton on Friday, Sept. 3
Provided by Tom Ripplinger

Springville gutted out a 2-point victory on the road against Riverton on Friday night. The Red Devils made the right plays down the stretch to remain unbeaten in a 23-21 slugfest with the Silverwolves.

When it mattered most, Springville senior athlete Cole Clement came up with big plays to keep his team unblemished. The 6-foot-4 tight end regained the lead for the Red Devils in the final quarter, using his size and strength to make a 17-yard touchdown grab that put the visitors on top 16-14.

Upon regaining possession, Riverton again was burned by Clement. This time Clement the defender intercepted a Silverwolves’ pass, giving Springville its fourth takeaway of the game.

“I hadn’t done much; I had messed up a ton in this game,” Clement said. “That touchdown just gave us momentum and then the pick just sealed the deal.”

Clement’s interception led to great field position for the Red Devils, placing the ball at the Riverton 29 yard line with 6:52 left to play. Springville punished the Silverwolves, chewing up over two minutes of clock and putting the game out of reach on a 3-yard power-run by Seth Rigtrup that extended the Red Devils lead to nine.

Springville head coach Willy Child was pleased with the play of Clement and the defense. “(Clement) is a stud for us. He’s been doing it all year. I think that’s his third or fourth interception. He’s a great player,” he said. “All year (our defense) has come up with big plays when we need them. They were great again tonight.”

After holding Riverton scoreless in the first half, things completely flipped on Springville coming out of the half. Silverwolves’ running back Sau Tafisi took a pass 65 yards for a touchdown less than a minute into the third quarter. Tafisi followed that up with a 5-yard touchdown run just seven seconds into the fourth quarter, giving Riverton its first lead of the game at 14-10.

“Our kids are resilient,” Child said. “We had to change the momentum after they took the lead, and it took a while. Our defense stayed tough, got us the ball back. We were able to get the running game going a little bit and then hit some big passes. I’m proud of our guys staying positive and knowing that we still had a chance to go get it done.”

After giving up the lead, Springville battled back with Clement’s game-altering plays. The Silverwolves wouldn’t get another sniff of the ball after a last-gasp touchdown pass from Jake Meyers found Josh Jacobson for 15 yards and the score. The Red Devils melted the game away on one Rigtrup run after another, leaving Riverton helpless as the clock ran out.

Springville will look to stay undefeated next week against Spanish Fork in its first game of region play. Riverton will try to regain a winning record when it hits the road for a matchup at Pleasant Grove. Both games are scheduled for next Friday at 7 pm.