The Upper Arlington High School football team used a pair of interception returns for touchdowns to build a big lead on the way to a 34-19 victory over Springfield on Sunday, Sept. 4, in the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic at Ohio Stadium.
After leading 7-0 at halftime, the Golden Bears scored three touchdowns in a 72-second span of the third period on the way to improving to 1-1. Springfield, which defeated UA 26-10 last season, dropped to 0-2.
UA allowed 435 yards of offense and a pair of late touchdowns, but the outcome never was in serious jeopardy after the Bears built a 28-0 lead.
"We knew they'd be good, quick and fast, but watching them play a couple series helped calm our nerves," defensive back Jared Drake said. "Our defense came out fired up and ready to go."
The Bears took a 7-0 lead with 1:45 to go before halftime when Ryan McSheffery scored on a 2-yard run.
Then with 9:37 to go in the third quarter, Chris Frey intercepted a pass from Chris Wallace and returned the ball 39 yards for a touchdown.
On the ensuing possession, Springfield's Stewart Vlcek was tackled for a 27-yard loss at the UA 13 on a punt attempt. The Bears' Francis Wilamosky scored on a 13-yard run on the next play to give his team a 21-0 lead with 8:37 left in the third quarter.
Two plays later, UA scored again when Drake intercepted a pass from Davonte James and returned it 23 yards.
Springfield cut its deficit to 28-6 on a 2-yard run by Wallace with 9:32 remaining, but the Bears' Gus Ackley made it 34-6 on an 8-yard scoring run with 6:45 left. The Wildcats added two late touchdown passes by Wallace.
Wallace finished 29-for-50 passing for 313 yards with two touchdowns and James was 3-for-10 for 86 yards.
Wilamosky led the Bears with 53 yards rushing on nine carries, while McSheffery had 39 yards rushing and Ackley added 36.
"We just tried to not let them get into spaces because they're so quick," Bears coach Mike Golden said. "I thought we did a good job of that for most of the game and then we got a little soft at the end. We've just got to learn to play for 48 minutes."
SPRINGFIELD 0 0 0 19 -- 19
UPPER ARLINGTON 0 7 21 6 -- 34
UA--McSheffery 2 run (Hamilton kick)
UA--Frey 39 interception return (Hamilton kick)
UA--Wilamosky 13 run (Hamilton kick)
UA--Drake 23 interception return (Hamilton kick)
S--Wallace 2 run (kick failed)
UA--Ackley 8 run (kick failed)
S--Montgomery 37 pass from Wallace (Prendergast kick)
S--Montgomery 5 pass from Wallace (kick blocked)