Spring Hill runs over De Soto in season-ending loss
De Soto football coach Brad Scott said he knew what Spring Hill was going to try to do.
He said his team knew, and Spring Hill obviously knew.
"Heck, even every fan in the stands knew by the fourth quarter," Scott said.
Spring Hill was going to run super-athlete Dustin Smith until De Soto made them stop.
De Soto didn't make them stop.
The Wildcats gave up three big plays Oct. 27 and couldn't generate enough of their own, and it cost them a spot in the Class 4A state playoffs as they lost to Spring Hill 18-7.
"Dustin's probably the best player we saw all year," Scott said. "We worked on stopping him all week in practice, and for some reason we didn't do it during the game."
Smith torched the Cats for two of Spring Hill's three touchdowns.
He powered around the corner, tip-toed the sideline, broke a sure tackle and sprinted 57 yards in the second quarter.
Then he almost single-handedly ended De Soto's season in the fourth quarter with another long run.
De Soto gave up a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown to Spring Hill's Kevin Miller, but the Cats crawled back into the game briefly.
De Soto could advance either by winning or by losing by five points or less.
It appeared they may be taking the loss route when Tyler Farmer squirted into the end zone on a four-yard sweep.
Down 12-0 after the punt return, De Soto kicked an extra point and was within its margin for error -- five points.
Smith struck with his second touchdown three plays into the ensuing drive, however.
After he gained 18 yards on the first two plays, he bashed his way around the corner and rumbled 54 yards to keep De Soto out of reach.
"We just didn't execute our defense on the perimeter like we should have and didn't tackle like we should have and it got us beat," Scott said.
He didn't heap all the blame on the defense, however. The offense struggled throughout the game.
The Cats' biggest play came on a 26-yard Jake Morse-to-Erik Hill screen pass that set up the team's lone touchdown, but Scott said those type of big plays were far to rare.
"Our offense just didn't execute," he said. "We'd get something good going, then we'd shoot ourselves in the foot.
"We just picked the wrong night to have a bad game.