Springdale delivers complete effort, rocks Riverview in season finale
Springdale isn't a WPIAL playoff team for the first time in 11 years, but the Dynamos sure looked like one Saturday afternoon in Oakmont.
Playing with the efficiency of the program's big-play teams of the previous decade, Springdale broke a three-game losing streak and ended an otherwise trying season with a crisp, 28-0 victory over Riverview at Riverside Park.
And it did so with numerous underclassmen — giving fans a glimpse of future teams — who battled until the final whistle.
“This was our most complete game all year,” Springdale coach Dave Leasure said. “We played with passion and intensity, and it was great to see the kids smiling and happy.”
Freshman quarterback Sammy Carey ran for two touchdowns, junior tight end Adam Lock caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from junior receiver Mike Banachoski, and sophomore running back Joel Wunnenberg also scored for the Dynamos (3-6, 3-5 Eastern Conference).
Springdale used 10 ball-carriers, led by junior Austin Kline, who ran for 88 yards on 23 carries. Three players — Carey, Lock and Banachoski — all completed passes.
Banachoski also intercepted a pass.
“After the (local-record 11-year playoff) streak (ended), and that was all on me, our No. 1 obligation was to have fun and enjoy being out there,” Leasure said. “For us, it's a matter of getting better; who wants to make a commitment? I think there's hope for the future. We're not done here.”
Springdale went deep into its playbook, using wildcat formations and trick plays to spark an offense that had suffered back-to-back shutouts.
“This was something we really needed. We had a fun and intense week of practice,” Lock said.
Lock contributed in several ways. With Springdale leading 14-0, he got separation from a defender who fell down, set himself and waited for a pass near the 10-yard line. He caught the ball, turned and ran into the end zone for a 32-yard scoring play with no time left in the second quarter to give the Dynamos a three-touchdown advantage at the half.
“I was just trying to get in position to break up an interception,” said Lock, whose 32-yard halfback-option completion to Banachoski later set up a 9-yard score by Wunnenberg.
Riverview (1-8, 1-7), which also used direct snaps and a few gadget plays, never got on track offensively. Junior fullback Keir Barber finally broke away for 35 yards with 1:29 left in the fourth, but the Raiders had only rushed for 30 yards to that point.
“We were not ready to play; we didn't have any excitement and didn't play with any kind of enthusiasm,” Riverview coach Todd Massack said. “And that's on me. You'd think with it being our last game, and it being (against) Springdale. Dave had his team ready to go.”
The Dynamos outgained Riverview, 320-101, and preserved their second shutout of the season with a defensive stop just inside the final 20 seconds after the Raiders drove to the Springdale 4.
Lock ended any hopes for a touchdown with a third-down sack with 12 seconds to play.
That was pleasing to defensive coordinator Pappy Boulton, who was handed the game ball. Boulton looked across the sideline at longtime friend Chuck Wagner, an assistant with the Raiders and former head coach at Springdale. Bragging rights went to Boulton, a former East Deer-Frazer and West Deer coach who went against Wagner when Wagner coached at Oakmont in the 1960s.
The coaches, both 78, shared a hug and a few laughs was they walked off the field.
“Pappy was in our ear (about the shutout),” Leasure said. “We're playing better and getting closer to Dynamos football.”
Springdale and Riverview often say they symbolically play for the Hulton Bridge, which spans the Allegheny. One school is located on each side.
“We didn't play for the bridge; we played for our seniors today who added to the Springdale legacy,” Lock said.
Neither team will play a nonconference game next week.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.