Through two games under first-year coach Adam Bahr, the Springbrook High School football team has already forged an identity.
On Friday, the Blue Devils methodically ran the ball and upset visiting Gaithersburg, 20-7, in Silver Spring.
Junior running back Terrence Caudle rushed for all three touchdowns and 123 yards on 29 attempts to lead the Blue Devils’ offense.
“We are a team that is going to play field position football, run the ball and finish every game,” said Bahr, a Springbrook graduate, whose team improved to 2-0. “We did that tonight against a very good Gaithersburg team.”
Added Caudle: “The defense set the tone and we finished our drives. I got to credit my offensive line though because I wouldn’t have had all those yards without them.”
Springbrook’s defense forced Gaithersburg (1-1) to punt on the game’s opening possession and the Blue Devils took immediate advantage of excellent field position.
Following an incomplete pass by quarterback Neiman Blain, who attempted just two passes, Caudle ran six consecutive times and capped a 47-yard drive with a 3-yard run off right tackle.
Caudle scored again with 4 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a 10-yard run to give his team a 12-0 advantage. The Blue Devils started the two-play drive on Gaithersburg’s 11-yard line following a 9-yard punt.
“We wanted to take a safety there, but my punter didn’t hear me,” Trojans coach Kreg Kephart said.
Gaithersburg, which dropped several passes throughout the game, responded with its only sustained possession. Running back Solomon Vault capped a 71-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run 30 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Springbrook, however, sealed the game on the ensuing possession with an 80-yard march that was aided by Gaithersburg penalties when Blain was hit late out of bounds. Caudle scored on the next play from 20 yards out and Blain ran in the two-point conversion on a bootleg to the left.
“We dropped three wide-open touchdowns,” Kephart said. “I mean wide open, and that can’t happen. [Quarterback] Nick [DeCarlo] threw the ball very well tonight and the line gave him good time, but we may have to make some changes in the receiving corp since we had five, six drops.
“Take nothing away from Springbrook. They are bigger than us, beat us on iso [running] plays, but we made a rather large contribution to our demise.”
Added DeCarlo: “This is a game we should’ve won, but we didn’t. We just have to work harder and get ready for Sherwood next week. I still have all the faith and trust in the world in my receivers to catch the ball and run good routes.”
Springbrook, meanwhile, is perfectly happy to be undefeated. It hosts Walter Johnson next Friday.
“I’d prefer to be regarded as the best team,” Caudle said. “But we will relish the underdog role and prove everybody wrong.”
Springbrook 20, Gaithersburg 7
Gaithersburg (1-1) 0 0 0 7 — 7
Springbrook (2-0) 6 0 6 8 — 20
SP — Terrence Caudle 3 run (Abdoulie Jallow kick failed)
SP — Terrence Caudle 10 run (Abdoulie Jallow kick failed)
G — Solomon Vault 3 run (Zack Keres kick)
SP — Terrence Caudle 20 run (Neiman Blain 2-point run)
Gaithersburg — Solomon Vault 11-58; Nick DeCarlo 9-30; Xaviyer Mosley 1-10.
Springbrook — Terrence Caudle 29-123; Kevin Angel 5-28; Tatah Ndeh 4-14; Neiman Blain 7-31; Tyrek Stewart 1-15.
Gaithersburg — Nick DeCarlo 12-29-74-1.
Springbrook — Neiman Blain 0-2-0-0.
Gaithersburg — Dalton Kephart 9-55; Jerimiah Akoi 1-10; Marc Smith 1-8; Ariel Martinez 1-1.
Springbrook — None