SAVANNAH, Mo. — The plan for Savannah was simple on Friday night against Benton.
Play fast and run the ball.
That is exactly what it did and met no resistance from Benton in the process. Savannah ran for more than 400 yards to earn its first win of the season by topping Benton 53-0.
“We didn’t execute, didn’t play well at all,” Benton coach Ben Glidewell said. “Hats off to Savannah, hats off to (Savannah coach Randy) Schrader. They were more prepared, they played harder, they kicked our butt.”
Benton was without starting quarterback Cooper Burton following an injury.
“With the injury to their quarterback coming in, that is tough for them,” Schrader said. “We were just kind of able to do some of the things that we wanted to do.”
Savannah started fast by scoring on its first two drives off the half. Junior running back Titan Irvine put his team up with his first touchdown of the day midway through the first quarter. Sophomore quarterback Chase Spoonemore followed with a 76-yard touchdown run on the following possession.
Spoonemore broke off a 51-yard run on the following possession, which set up Irvine for his second score of the day.
Things went from bad to worse late in the second quarter when Savannah found the end zone two more times. The Savages marched into halftime with a 35-0 lead.
“We did a lot of hard work at practice,” Spoonemore said. “Our (offensive line) stepped up, they really did. We had a few injuries but the young kids stepped up and they played well.”
With a running clock in the second half, Savannah forced two safeties and found the end zone two more times to finish the night.
It was the first win for Schrader as the head coach of Savannah (1-4). He knows that there is still progress to be made, but it was a step in the right direction.
“We needed a win bad, everyone needs a win bad when you’re into Week 5 and don’t have a win,” Schrader said. “Our attitude has been really good. Our kids are showing up every day, they are working hard, buying in, doing the things we need to do. You need some rewards for all the work that you did and we picked a little fruit tonight.”
The Cardinals (0-5) are still in search of their first win of the season. Benton hosts Maryville next Friday.
“I’ll move on with the guys that want to play hard,” Glidewell said. “That was my message to the team. If you’re half in, half out that is not what we need. I’ll go to bat with the guys who want to go hard, do it right and work hard. We’ll see who shows up.”