SIDNEY — Sidney has been aiming to play consistently throughout a game and did so against Fairborn on Friday.
The Yellow Jackets scored on the first play from scrimmage, built a running-clock margin by halftime and beat the Skyhawks 56-6 in a Miami Valley League matchup at Sidney Memorial Stadium.
Fairborn (1-3, 1-1 MVL Valley Division) beat West Carrollton 34-6 last week and played both Tecumseh and Tippecanoe more competitively in Weeks 1 and 2 losses; the squad was tied 15-15 with Tecumseh before losing 32-15 and led Tippecanoe 6-3 at halftime before losing 27-6.
But Fairborn couldn’t keep up with the Yellow Jackets. Julius Spradling had 354 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns, junior Tank Fleming had 186 all-purpose yards and scored two TDs and senior QB Tucker Herron completed 4-of-8 passes for 147 yards with two TDs.
“It started up front,” Sidney coach Dave Taynor said. “We had a great week of preparation with the guys up front. We put a charge on them: that group needs to lead the team every week in order for us to be successful.
“We have some pretty talented guys for skill players, and for them to have the days that they had, it has to be led by the offensive line.”
Spradling played some at quarterback and saw more time in the position in the Wildcat on Friday.
In a little over three quarters on the field, he completed his lone pass attempt for 41 yards, ran for 99 yards on nine carries, caught one pass for 84 yards, scooped up a blocked field goal and returned it 92 yards for a TD and returned a punt 79 yards for a TD.
Taynor said Spradling improved a lot at quarterback over the last week in practice.
“The game didn’t necessarily dictate to do it, but he threw one ball early on,” Taynor said. “He’s developed as a passer, so we have the ability to be able to use him there, too.”
Fairborn prevented a shutout by scoring on a 7-yard run by Zyaire Cavitt with about five minutes left.
The Skyhawks managed 206 yards of offense and were 2-of-13 on third-down conversions and 1-of-2 on fourth-down conversions.
The Yellow Jackets (2-2, 1-1) had four tackles for loss and two sacks; senior lineman Eli Biddle led the team with eight tackles, 2.5 of which were for loss. Spradling was second with five tackles.
“Our defensive line and our defensive front played really well,” Taynor said. “They created havoc in the backfield most of the day.
“Special teams was great too. We blocked a kick, returned it, blocked a punt, returned a punt for a touchdown, returned a kick for a touchdown. If you’re going to play at an elite level, your special teams have got to do well.”
Grady Mitchell, a sophomore, was also 8 for 8 on extra-point attempts. He kicked in place of senior Joey Flynn, who Taynor said was not able to attend on Friday.
“He did well,” Taynor said of Mitchell. “He was working on placement on kickoffs. …He had a few really good kicks, pulled a few out of bounds and kicked a few in the middle. …For having his first opportunity to do it at the varsity level, I think he performed really well.”
Sidney built a 35-0 lead by halftime to ensure the second half started with a running clock.
The Yellow Jackets scored on the first play. Spradling started at quarterback, took a snap near midfield, ran right and flew up the home sideline on a 58-yard TD run.
“It helped with the momentum with Julius popping the big run on the very first play,” Taynor said.
Isaiah Foster capped Sidney’s next drive with a 6-yard TD run, and Spradling scored on an 84-yard reception after taking a short pass from Herron before the end of the first quarter to push the lead to 21-0.
Herron threw a 33-yard TD pass to Fleming in the second quarter, and Spradling returned a punt 79 yards for a TD.
Brice Hughes scored on a 2-yard TD run in the third quarter. Spradling returned the blocked field goal for a TD with 10:38 left in the fourth to push the lead to 49-0.
After the Skyhawks’ TD, Fleming returned the kickoff 81 yards for a TD.
The Yellow Jackets are scheduled to travel to West Carrollton this coming Friday. The Pirates dropped to 0-4 with a 52-0 loss to Troy on Friday.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.