Springville handed Spanish Fork its second defeat of the season on Friday night, taking down the Dons on the road 35-21 in both schools’ first game of region play.
The Red Devils took a two-touchdown lead into the fourth quarter but had to regain the lead later ini the period after the Dons scored twice in less than a minute to tie the game at 21.
Springville responded with two touchdowns of its own, ultimately picking up the win.
“Spanish Fork, Springville, you know that’s going to be a barnburner,” Springville head coach Dave Valeti said. “It was a physical game and we anticipated it. … We still have a lot of room to grow and that’s a good thing.”
The Dons hadn’t seen action in two weeks, while the Red Devils suffered their first setback of the season last Friday in a seven-point loss to Riverton. Springville got back on track against Spanish Fork, using a balanced attack to score a pair of touchdowns on the ground and three more through the air.
“That loss last week got us going,” Valeti said. “We had our best week of practice and it showed.”
Red Devils senior tight end Walker Deede had his best game of the season, scoring three touchdowns. Deede got the offense going for Springville with two first half touchdowns. His initial score went for 72-yards.
Senior quarterback Ryder Burton again found the tight end in the end zone on fourth down a mere 12 seconds before the break.
The touchdown before the half gave the Red Devils their first lead of the game.
“We’ve been working hard all week,” Deede said. “Ryder scrambled and found me.”
“Walker Deede is probably the best kept secret in Utah,” Valeti said. “The guy just makes play after play. He’s humble. We’re a run heavy team. But he knows when his number’s called, he’ll be ready.”
The second half saw Springville get two scores from junior running back Tevita Valeti. Deede also find his way across the goal line one more time to finish things off.
Valeti regained the lead for the Red Devils in the fourth on a 64-yard rushing touchdown, squelching the Dons hopes of a comeback.
“Vita Valeti. That’s all that’s needed to be said,” Burton said. “The safety comes up, fills the hole, and he said, ‘I’m not going down.’ It was a great job by our O-line, but that drive goes to Vita. He just decided he wasn’t going down right there. Took it to the house.”
The Red Devils held on to the lead from there.
Springville and Spanish Fork were the top teams in Region 9 a year ago, making Friday’s result feel extra important. The Dons won the game last season, giving the Red Devils their only regular season loss of the year.
“It was pretty close to that score (a year ago) and it was one that stung.” coach Valeti said. “We rebounded, as you saw, last year.”
The two schools continue region play next week with Springville facing off against Provo Thursday and Spanish Fork taking on Salem Hills Friday. Both games begin at 7 p.m.