by David King
Already minus their two injured varsity quarterbacks, North Springs lost their next QB option and speedy runner and receiver Zahir Nichols during practice. The short-handed Spartans rode their strong offensive line jumbo wildcat formations with sturdy Kyree Green for much of their offense. Freshman QB Santino Gaudreau alternated snaps to give the offense a different look. The resurgent Decatur Bulldogs took advantage of the short-handed Spartan offense for a 38-13 win, much to the delight of a loud packed Decatur stadium.
Following a Spartan 3-and-out, the Bulldogs struck quickly for their first touchdown. The Bulldogs started at the Spartan 10 following a QB strip on next possession, but the North Springs defense forced only a field goal for 10-0 score. The Bulldogs started their next drive at the Spartan 15 following a rushed punt. With their backs against the wall and Decatur at the 1 yard line, the Spartan defense held on 4th down in another impressive stand. With excellent blocking and sheer grinding determination, Kyree Green had six carries from the one to the 35, followed by Chaise McArthur to the 45. The Bulldogs intercepted a pass and returned it to the Spartan 33, setting up TD early in the 2nd quarter.
A brief Spartan drive and punt left Decatur starting at the Spartan 39. Spartan Jaron Bradley snatched a fumble and raced to the Decatur 22. Defensive pass interference on 4th down kept the drive alive. Matt Rosenstein carried to the 5, after which Kyree Green took two carries to score a touchdown. Christian Ledesma made the PAT to pull within 17-7. After the teams traded punts, Decatur scored on a 52-yard pass to expand their lead before halftime.
North Springs special teams delivered at the start of the 3rd quarter, recovering their kickoff at the Decatur 39. The Spartans went for 4th and 20, when Decatur intercepted the pass and returned it for a touchdown. Kyree Green gained 21 yards on the next series before Decatur recovered a QB strip. The teams traded punts. Zahzee White’s tackle for loss contributed to another Bulldog punt all the way to the Spartan 1 foot line. Kyree Green took two carries to the 41, but a QB-RB handoff miscue two plays later returned the ball to Decatur.
Excellent tackles from Torice Antione, Nashiid Jordan, and Neriyan Brown slowed Decatur down. The Spartans turned the ball back on a fumbled punt, setting up another Decatur TD. Following a Spartan punt, North Springs recovered a fumble at the Decatur 46. Michael Pierce raced around the right side for a 46-yard touchdown to close the scoring at 38-13. North Springs hosts Grady this Friday for homecoming.