“It’s definitely cool. It’s another thing we can all be shooting for in Sparks,” Reed coach Ernie Howren said of wining the Mayor’s Trophy. “It always was a special thing when it was against Sparks High. Now we get to continue that tradition with a new school.”
In the first half, it was the John Covello show.
Covello ran all over the Cougar defense before intermission, racking up 94 yards on 13 carries. Six of those carries went for longer gains than Spanish Springs totaled as an offense in the first half. He also capped two scoring drives with 13- and 1-yard touchdowns to give the hosts a 14-0 lead at the break.
The Cougars managed a meager six yards of total offense in the first half thanks to seven drives ending in three plays. All night the visitors were plagued by an inability to hold onto the ball.
“We couldn’t get anything going on offense,” SSHS football coach Scott Hare said. “It’s just been a combination of a lot of different things over the past few weeks that haven’t been going right and it culminated in the final week. It is what it is right now.”
Covello got back to business in the second half. Although he only got three more carries, he averaged 15 yards on each of those runs, finishing with 146 yards on the ground.
“I felt it was the best overall effort by the line and John,” Howren said. When he was in there, he was just doing a great job reading their blocks and they were really pushing the front for him.”
The Blue and Gold went up 17-0 on a 33-yard field goal by AJ Silva. Reed was set up in Spanish Springs territory when a fake punt play went awry on the Cougars’ first possession of the second half.
Spanish Springs fumbled and turned the ball over to Reed on the ensuing drive. Quarterback Brent Showalter capped the 39-yard scoring drive when he rolled out to the left and dumped it off to Beau Tittensor with a forward option type pass for 4-yard touchdown pass. That made the score 24-0 with 2:33 left in the third quarter.
Bad luck continued for the Cougs. A high snap during a punt attempt rolled all the way down to the Spanish Springs 6. Silva eventually got the call and split the uprights from 22 yards out, increasing the lead to 27-0 in the opening minute of the fourth.
An interception ended Spanish Springs’ next drive, and on Reed’s first play, Showalter hooked up with a wide-open Chad Gray for a touchdown pass. The PAT was no good, leaving the score 33-0.
Spanish Springs got the goose egg off the scoreboard when it trekked 77 yards and Conrad Tanyi fell over the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:08 to play. The extra point was wide left.
Both Reed and Spanish Springs had qualified for the postseason prior to Thursday night’s game, but seeding depended on how all the other games went in the final week of the season.