By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
SPRINGVILLE – The Springville Tigers celebrated homecoming 2023 like you always want to celebrate homecoming. With a big win in front of a big crowd and seeing your senior leadership have a big game. On Friday night, Springville welcomed the Alexandria Valley Cubs, a region opponent, to Tiger Stadium and leaned on Noel Cox, Jake Conner and Mahlon Alverson, all seniors, to end the night with their second win of the season. A 49-21 blowout.
The Tigers wasted no time scoring. Jake Conner got things started with a 43-yard touchdown run and a two-point play to cap off the first drive of the game and put the Tigers up 8-0 right out of the gate. The Valley Cubs gave the ball back to Springville and this time Mahlon Alverson would hit a big 55-yard run to score the Tigers’ second touchdown of the first quarter to make it 15-0 Tigers with 4:53 to go in the period.
Alexandria would put together a drive to close out the first and begin the second quarter with a four-yard touchdown run to close the gap to 15-7. Noel Cox would have a 73-yard blast to answer the Alexandria score and put Springville up 21-7. On the next drive, Springville forced a fumble that was returned by Conner for 22 yards for the scoop and score and make it 28-7 Springville. After holding Alexandria scoreless once again, Springville would put together another scoring drive that was capped off by an Alverson touchdown, this time from 20 yards out, to make it 35-7 heading into the locker room.
Alverson would start the half with a nine-yard touchdown run to put Springville up 42-7 with just over five minutes to go in the third. Alexandria would answer on the ensuing kickoff, taking it to the house and making it 42-14 Tigers. Springville’s Colby Ellis would find paydirt on the next drive from nine yards out to put Springville up 49-14. Alexandria would score once again on a kickoff return before the game ended, but that would only narrow the gap a little bit as Springville doubled their win total from a year ago and proved that they are much improved in 2023.
“Jake (Conner) and I have a really good relationship because me and his dad (Kevin, who coaches girls basketball at Clay Chalkville) are such good friends,” said Jon Clements, Springville’s head coach. “He and I talked today as we were on the float for the homecoming parade and I told him he needed to have a good game tonight and he said he needed to score on defense. I told him if he could score on offense and defense, it would be cool. Well, he checked both of those boxes in the first quarter. I was really proud of him for his performance tonight.”
“Mahlon really took tonight personal. Last year when we played them at their place, the got after him pretty good. He was really great tonight. I was really proud of him also because, after he scored, he was on kickoff team and he ran down and made two huge tackles for us. Just him being who he is.”
“Noel had a big night as well. He had the big run but he also had eight or nine tackles on defense. He was also blocking and being unselfish.”
“I was really proud of our guys tonight. The proudest I was all night was with our fans. They showed up and showed out and it was just a great night for high school football. It was a great night for Springville. Having homecoming and all of the distractions, the kids played really good and I was excited and proud for them.”The Tigers, now 2-3, head to Oneonta Friday night to take on the Redskins, who are 3-2.