Memorial Stadium was awash in sheets of rain Friday as Big Spring hosted Seminole for its last predistrict bout.
The Steers allowed two late scores, but the Indians' rally wasn't enough as Big Spring — who recorded an 0-10 record last season — improved to 5-0 after a sloppy 29-19 victory.
The rain — which didn't let up throughout the entire evening — made the game a bit more interesting than BSHS Head Coach Phillip Ritchey may have wanted at times.
“It makes every exchange that happens much more difficult,” Ritchey said. "Every time you touch the ball there is a danger of dropping it.”
That danger forced Ritchey to halt the passing game to an extent.
“We definitely passed the ball less (Friday),” Ritchey explained.
Penalties — over 100 yards of them — were also an issue for Ritchey's squad.
“There were an awful lot of penalties for us,” Ritchey said. “I am glad we were able to overcome that and the weather. That's some adversity, but we came out on top and in my opinion, had a pretty convincing victory except for the late scores.”
For the third straight week, the Steers allowed a first quarter touchdown by their opponents as Seminole quarterback Jacob Burtch took a one-yard keeper into the end zone. A two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Indians took a 6-0 lead.
Big Spring was forced to punt on its next possession and Seminole was moving the chains until a long pass attempt from Burtch was picked off by Roberson — his first of two interceptions during the affair. Next, it was Tannehill who threw into coverage and was intercepted by Seminole at the 42 yard line. The Indians couldn't capitalize on the mistake and punted it away.
Big Spring responded early in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Tobyn Tannehill broke away with an 84-yard run to tie the game. Devin Roberson kicked the extra point, giving the Steers a 7-6 lead.
The next Steer possession saw a pair of 16-yard runs from Michael Oliva and a 13-yard pass to receiver Tate Kennedy — who left the game shortly after the catch with an ankle injury — capped by a 29-yard run by Tannehill for the Steers second touchdown. Tannehill connected with tight end Ty Sealy for a two-point conversion to put the Steers on top 15-6.
Another Roberson interception gave Big Spring the ball. Oliva picked up 37 yards on a rush and Tannehill hit Ty'Ral Menefield for a 26-yard touchdown pass as the Steers increased their lead to 22-6 after a valid extra point by Roberson.
The score would remain the same until four-and-a-half minutes into the third quarter when Oliva ran in a 60-yard score making it a 29-6 game.
The Big Spring defense put on another solid performance throughout much of the evening, but allowed two late scores by Seminole — one with five minutes remaining and one as time expired — as the Indians managed to put 13 more points on the board.
“(Friday) was a defensive coordinator's nightmare,” Ritchey said. “The (defense) did a good job. They played hard all night. They are the heart and soul of this team, in my opinion.”
With a perfect record headed into district play, Big Spring has a bye week, giving the Steers time to rest before resuming action against state championship contender Abilene Wylie — who also boasts a 5-0 record.
“We've got a good team and they've got a good team,” Ritchey added. “We definitely feel we can play with them. I am very happy with our nondistrict games — we played some good teams, we saw some different styles and I feel we are a better team now than when we started. That's all you can really ask for.”
Big Spring hosts the Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.