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McKenzie comes up huge for Springfield-Montco in win over Wissahickon

SPRINGFIELD >> What started as a drizzle turned to a steady pour as the Wissahickon Trojans were facing the most pivotal third down of their season.

Wissahickon Trojan quarterback Julian Perkins dropped back and threw a deep pass looking for a big play, but instead found senior Dylan McKenzie who made a leaping interception that ultimately sealed the 21-14 victory for the Springfield Township Spartans on Friday night.

“Anytime there’s a big play to make Dylan makes it, we knew what we would get from him,” said Springfield head coach Chris Shelly. 

McKenzie had a huge game for the Spartans, making game-changing plays on both sides of the ball. Offensively, McKenzie had supplanted the former starter at quarterback to help invigorate the offense with his athleticism and running ability, he did just that, rushing for 134 yards and two of the Spartans three touchdowns. 

“With Dylan running the ball it just gives us so much more dimensions offensively,” said Shelly.

For his part, Mckenzie praised his offensive line for the mindset that they showed throughout the game. 

“That dog mentality bro, they just come down and block anyone they see, they really did have those touchdowns”

That mentality was on full display on multiple third and fourth downs throughout the game. Every time the Spartans needed to pick up yards in critical areas they relied on their offensive line to forge a path for their rushers. Almost every time their line responded by picking up the yardage needed, much to their 

“ We felt like we could just  move their front,” said Shelly, “ I was really happy with that.” 

Senior offensive lineman and team captain Colby Sabin spoke on the unit’s mentality on crucial downs in the game.

“ We know that we can get it done and we’re gonna get it done, and we practice every day to a standard,” said Sabin, “we know that we can get it done versus anybody. We’re gonna run our stuff and we’re gonna win.” 

That’s exactly what the Spartans did, especially in the first half. After going into the half leading 21-6 the Spartans wouldn’t score again for the remainder of the game and would rely on their defense to maintain their advantage.

That second-half shutout is what allowed the Trojans to stay in the game and they made key adjustments that slowed down the Spartan rushing attack. 

“ Our defensive staff and our defensive coordinator made great adjustments,” said Trojan head coach Rory Graver, “Our guys believed in the adjustments and made plays in the second half.” 

Offensively, the Trojans offense had their best game of the season scoring multiple touchdowns for the first time all season. Jaden McLean and Ronnie Weldon starred for the Trojans using their speed and tackle-breaking abilities to take advantage of any openings the defense allowed. 

Weldon specifically ran hard all night, most impressively on a 41-yard touchdown run where he broke multiple tackles on his way to a score that would bring his team one touchdown away from tying up the game. The Trojans fought hard for every yard they earned and head coach Rory Graver was proud of how his team played.

“I think it was a full team thing, Jaden played a nice game, Ronnie Walden really ran the ball hard for us,” said Graver, “That really starts up front with us, our lineman played well for us.”

The Trojans remained winless on the season, but Shelly praised Wissahickon. 

“We got their best, that’s not an 0-5 football team over there,” said Shelly “Give them some credit too, their coaching staff those kids played hard.”

Ultimately the difference in the game came down to the Spartan defense and more big plays from McKenzie who shined on that end. The Spartan had two interceptions patrolling the back end of the defense. After allowing a long touchdown run the Spartans stiffened up and stonewalled the last two Trojan drives to secure their victory.

“It was huge,” said Sabin, “We could come on the field on defense and win, we knew we could and we did, that’s the best thing.”

The Spartans record now stands at 4-1 and next week they travel to play the Cheltenham Panthers on Friday at 7 pm looking to extend their new-found winning streak.

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