Mitch Nutt (3) of Springport High School attempts to avoid a tackler during a home game Thursday against Vandercook Lake. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
Springport High School football player Mitch Nutt was introduced on senior night and noted he would like to go to trade school to become an electrician.
The senior provided a spark for the Spartans’ offense Thursday night in an opening night win over Vandercook Lake.
Electricity ultimately caused the end of the game with Springport leading 31-0 just two minutes into the second half. The game was delayed by lightning for 45 minutes, and eventually called final due to lightning in the area.
The storm was expected to be in the area for another hour or so.
Springport opens the season 1-0, while the Jayhawks fall to 0-1.
Nutt threw for 102 yards and ran for another 86 for the Spartans. He started three games in his sophomore year but was replaced by an older, more experienced quarterback.
“I have been working out a lot and working on my speed and agility,” Nutt said of the change from receiver/halfback to quarterback. “The only thing I worried about was getting down the passing and knowing all of the plays.”
Springport head Coach Matt Schwartzkopf said the Spartans’ coaching staff knew Nutt is an athlete.
“He worked hard to get stronger and be a solid quarterback,” Schwartzkopf said. “Mitch deserves everything that comes his way because of his work ethic.”
The Spartans had their way all night against the Jayhawks. Colby Burger ran the first play from scrimmage for a 57-yard touchdown for Springport. Nutt made the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
A blocked punt by Ryan Jonas set the Spartans up in excellent field position on their next possession. Nutt scored on a 12-yard run and Race Spurbeck ran in the 2-point conversion for a 16-0 lead just four minutes into the game.
The Spartans used a little trickery for their third touchdown of the game. Nutt hit Burger on a 10-yard pass, and he lateraled the ball to Jonas who ran the remaining 40 yards for another touchdown. A 2-point conversion run by Burger gave Springport a 24-0 lead.
Vandercook Lake held Springport on its next possession, but the Spartans took a 31-0 lead on a 59-yard run by Nutt midway through the second quarter.
The Spartans threatened to score late in the second quarter, but Kyle Stiles recovered a fumble for the Jayhawks.
Nutt finished 8-for-12 passing with Burger catching six of those passes for 74 yards. Jonas finished with 72 rushing yards for Springport.
Gavin Roberts ran for 22 yards for Vandercook Lake on five carries. The Jayhawks were held to less than 30 offensive yards for the game.
Springport will travel to Union City for a 7 p.m. kickoff Sept. 6, Vandercook Lake will host Grass Lake on the same night beginning at 7 p.m.
While both teams are supporting a varsity team, neither is guaranteed junior varsity squads. Springport has canceled its junior varsity program due to low numbers and Vandercook is up in the air with only 27 players listed in the whole football program.