CLEVELAND – Four fumbles and an interception proved costly for Class 2A, No. 3 Spring Garden in a 20-13 Region 6 football loss at Cleveland on Friday.
Cleveland senior quarterback Logan Washburn ran for two second-half touchdowns, but Spring Garden (3-1, 2-1) had a chance to tie the game late. The Panthers drove inside the Cleveland 5-yard line with 1:30 remaining, but lost a fumble on second down.
Cleveland (3-1, 3-0) took a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run by Joseph Walker with 9:16 left in the first quarter. The Panthers got their first score at the 3:18 mark of the second on Cam Welsh’s 5-yard touchdown run. The two-point try was no good, keeping Cleveland in front 7-6 at halftime.
Washburn scored on a pair of 11-yard runs with 1:24 left in the third and 7:48 remaining in the game to extend Cleveland’s lead to 20-6.
Spring Garden senior quarterback Chaz Pope made it a one-score game again with 5:58 left in the fourth on a 1-yard touchdown run, but could get no closer.
Pope led the Panthers with 72 yards on 16 carries. He was also 6-of-12 passing for 105 yards, and posted eight tackles on defense. Andrew Floyd added 61 yards on 14 carries. He also had an interception on defense. Welsh had 37 yards on eight totes. Cooper Austin caught four passes for 61 yards. Connor Bates and Landon Gowens both finished with eight tackles.
Spring Garden host Hokes Bluff on Friday. Cleveland is at J.B. Pennington.