Ashland jumped out to a 21-0 lead and Anthony Swanson’s interception late in the fourth quarter stymied Springfield’s comeback attempt as the Grizzlies secured their first Midwestern League victory of the season 21-14 Friday at Walter A. Phillips Field.
DeMario Watson rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns and also had 59 yards receiving, and Detlef Laughery had 11 tackles and a sack to lead the Grizzlies, who improved to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the MWL.
Springfield (0-5, 0-3) was led by quarterback Bryson Bresee, who passed for 102 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 131 yards.
Watson’s first touchdown, a 6-yard run, capped a 62-yard drive early in the first quarter and his second, a 14-yard run with 10:21 to go in the third, gave the Grizzlies a three-touchdown lead.
Bresee’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Kirsch with 2:23 to go in the third narrowed the gap, and Bresee’s touchdown pass to Devonte Massey with 8:33 to go made it a one possession game.
The Millers had two more cracks at driving for a would-be game-tying score in the last six minutes, but the first opportunity ended with a punt and the second was cut short when Swanson picked off Bresee.
Also for Ashland, Cade Swenson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Ekwall late in the second quarter.
Swenson completed 11 of 24 passes for 173 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Grizzlies, who had two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Springfield narrowly outgained Ashland in total yards, 264-257, but couldn’t overcome three turnovers and 13 penalties for 157 yards.
The Grizzlies host Eagle Point next Friday.
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.