After Spencer High seniors Tarvaraska Davis and Damarkus Robins had a hand in all seven touchdowns scored as the Greenwave defeated visiting Bremen 46-41 in a Friday matinee at Kinnett Stadium, they immediately looked to the future.
Davis, Robins and their teammates have their sights set on the playoffs.
"We're looking to get to the next level," Robins said. "We're looking toward the playoffs."
Davis agreed with his teammate.
"This means so much because they beat us (55-26) last year," Davis said. "Our mindset is on the playoffs. It was a little close at the end, but it doesn't matter as long as we have the victory."
Spencer (4-2, 3-1 Region 5-AA) took a big step toward earning one of the four playoff berths from 5-AA with the win, which put the Greenwave in third place behind Bowdon (5-0) and Heard County (4-0). Bremen is at 3-2 and Manchester is at 2-2. Spencer plays at Bowdon next week.
The victory was important for other reason for a program that has struggled mightily over the past four decades:
The last time the Greenwave were two games over .500 at any point in a season was when Spencer opened the 1992 season with three straight victories.
Spencer hasn't posted as many as four wins since 2007, when it went 5-5.
The Greenwave need to go 2-2 in their final four games to guarantee their first winning season since 1977. They have two home and two road games left. The Greenwave travel to Bowdon, host Chattahoochee County, visit Heard County and close out at home against Kendrick.
Second-year coach Calvin Arnold observed his team's focus and specific goals this week in practice.
"I noticed yesterday that this team's specific goals were: to win this game and go to the playoffs. They went forward with that mindset. We have a lot of speed out there, but I give a lot of the credit to the offensive line. They really came through today."
Davis, Robins and Bremen's Voltaire Driver put on an offensive display. Davis rushed for three touchdowns, passed for another and ran for a two-point conversion. Robins scored three times, and Driver scored five of the Blue Devils' six touchdowns.
Spencer jumped out to a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter before Bremen got its offense on track. Once the Devils got on the board, the two teams alternated touchdowns until early in the fourth quarter. Bremen made things interesting late in the game, outscoring Spencer 20-12 in the final quarter, including a pair of touchdowns in the last 2:24.
Bremen scored on a 2-yard Driver run with 9:08 remaining to make the score 40-21. The score stood until the closing minutes of the game.
Driver scored on a 57-yard run and Jake Verity added the extra point to narrow Spencer's lead to 40-34. The Greenwave responded with a 45-yard Robins run only 1:12 later. The two-point conversion failed and Spencer had a more comfortable lead, 46-34.
But the Blue Devils weren't finished. A Trent McClure-to-Tyler Cox pass with just 54 seconds left pulled Bremen to within a touchdown. But the Greenwave recovered the onside kick.
Friday at Kinnett StadiumBremen 0 7 14 20--41
Spencer 13 15 6 12--46
Spencer--Tarvaraska Davis 4 run (Cristhian Amable kick) 8:57
Spencer--Demarkus Robins 5 run (kick failed) 6:04
Spencer--Davis 3 run (Davis run) 10:42
Bremen--Voltaire Driver 4 run (Jake Verity kick) 8:44
Spencer--Davis 19 run (Amable kick) 5:39
Bremen--Driver 1 run (Verity kick) 6:25
Spencer--Robins 35 run (kick failed) 4:51
Bremen--Driver 4 run (Verity kick) 1:11
Spencer--Ervin Davis 42 pass from T. Davis (pass failed) 11:48
Bremen--Driver 2 run (pass failed) 9:08
Bremen--Driver 57 run (Verity kick) 2:24
Spencer--Robins 45 run (pass failed) 1:22
Bremen--Tyler Cox 35 pass from Trent McClure (Verity kick) :54
Records: Bremen 4-3, 3-2 Region 5-AA, Spencer 4-2, 3-1. Next: Spencer at Bowdon, Friday, 8 p.m.