By Maurice Patton
SPRING HILL – At a time when nothing is promised, every game is a victory regardless of the outcome.
So for Spring Hill, even in the aftermath of a 28-7 loss Saturday afternoon at Summit — ranked second in the initial Associated Press Class 5A statewide top 10 — in a contest that was moved from Thursday after being originally scheduled for Friday, being 0-2 isn’t the end of the world.
And if third-year Raider coach Ben Martin needed any further reminder of that, he got it following the game’s conclusion. As both teams made their way to their respective dressing areas, he was in close proximity to Spartans senior defensive end Tre Hunter when he collapsed with body cramps.
“He fell out right in front of me,” Martin said. “I tried to get his shoulder pads off. He said he was cramping, and I thought it was just his leg, but he said ‘body cramp’. That’s when it gets serious.”
Athletic trainers from both teams tended to Hunter until emergency medical technicians arrived and transported him to Williamson Medical Center, where he was being treated for dehydration Saturday night.
“It was sticky out there,” Summit coach Brian Coleman said, referring to the humidity as well as the temperatures that were into the high 80s at the 2 p.m. kickoff.
“These kids aren’t used to playing at this time. We start practice around 3:30, but practice ain’t a game. You try to prepare them for everything, but you can’t prepare for that.”
Martin and Coleman agreed that Saturday afternoon wasn’t the optimal setting for a high school football game in Middle Tennessee. They also agreed it was better than the alternative.
“I don’t think either of us wanted to play Saturday at 2, with a region game the next week and the short recovery time,” Martin said.
“We couldn’t lose a game,” Coleman said. “We don’t know what’s going to go on with (Metro Nashville Public Schools, regarding athletic activities in light of the pandemic), and we’ve got Overton in three weeks. We didn’t want to lose a game, and we didn’t want to push it back to 7 Saturday and risk more rain. We went to 2 to let the field drain some more.”
Weather conditions aside, Summit (2-0) took care of business early – scoring on its first two possessions of the game and its last two of the half, including a hurry-up drive following a 53-yard pass play from Luka Boylan to Remone Kelley that got the visitors on the scoreboard with 1:51 remaining before intermission.
“We knew we had to answer back,” Spartans quarterback Destin Wade said after his unit went 75 yards on nine plays – getting chunks of yardage on a 25-yard completion to Zach Switzer and a 22-yarder to Austin Harvey before Jakalean Cotton restored the three-TD cushion with his 2-yard run as time expired.
“We just had to drive down the field as quickly as possible,” Wade said. “I think we did a really good job moving the ball.”
Wade completed 14 of 20 passes for 253 yards and a pair of scores – a 47-yarder to Brandon King on the second Summit possession and a 13-yarder to Brady Pierce on the left sideline that made it a 21-0 game – before sitting out the second half along with Pierce and Caleb Jolley.
“They’re a little dinged up,” Coleman said of getting the twin receivers out, as well as Wade, with a key Region 5-5A contest Friday at Columbia Central looming. “They could have played.
“If you don’t need to take a beating, don’t take a beating. Next week is more important than this week.”
That was particularly applicable to Wade, who rushed for just 14 yards on four attempts as the coaching staff limited his designed runs – and exhibited his passing proficiency in the process.
“We’re trying to be of service to him, to let him show that he can sit in the pocket and scan the field,” Coleman said. “Our receivers did a better job of getting open, and our offensive line is letting him use and maneuver that pocket.”
Spring Hill, meanwhile, sputtered offensively with just 168 total yards and eight first downs – after managing just 73 offensive yards in the 27-3 season-opening loss to Central.
“As well as we did last week with the cramping and all, it was 10 times worse (Saturday),” Martin said. “It took a toll on us we didn’t realize. We were this close on offense and on defense, but we just had a couple of busted coverages. Destin’s a great quarterback, but you can’t give him 10 or 12 seconds back there.
“In the second half, we were just drained.”
The Raiders open Region 4-4A play Friday at Nolensville.
Summit 28, Spring Hill 7
At Summit Stadium
SH 0 7 0 0 – 7
Su 15 13 0 0 – 28
Su – Sam Kerouac 4 run (8:39), Zach Switzer run
Su – Brandon King 47 pass from Destin Wade (5:29), Ryan Crane kick
Su – Brady Pierce 13 pass from Wade (2:30), kick failed
SH – Remone Kelley 53 pass from Luka Boylan (1:51), Brett Hughes kick
Su – Jakalean Cotton 2 run (0:00), Crane kick
First downs 8 18
Rushes-yards 25-33 41-110
Passing yards 135 279
Comps-Atts-Ints 12-24-0 19-28-0
Penalties-yards 8-37 10-85
Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-1
Spring Hill – Kaiden Martin 5-26, Landen Secrest 11-9, Luka Boylan 5-(-9), Remone Kelley 2-(-1), Mac Richie 1-2
Summit – Austin Harvey 2-0, Logan Frazier 6-11, Cooper Hall 1-2, Jakalean Cotton 8-27, Sam Kerouac 13-35, Brandon King 3-20, Zach Switzer 3-4, Destin Wade 4-14
Spring Hill – Luka Boylan 12-24-0, 135
Summit – Destin Wade 14-20-0, 253, Austin Harvey 5-8-0, 26
Spring Hill – Luis Alderette 1-8, Remone Kelley 5-76, Dante Prowell 2-27, Riccola Alderson 2-14, Joel Herring 1-(-1), Avery Martin 1-11
Summit – Cooper Hall 2-7, Zach Switzer 3-38, Brandon King 3-58, Caleb Jolley 4-41, Austin Harvey 3-40, Brady Pierce 2-29, Maddox Reed 2-66