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Diaz's big night dooms Grizzlies in loss to Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — Ashland head coach Beau Lehnerz knew that Springfield running back Arturo Diaz was going to be the Millers’ focal point.

That turned out to be right on the money Friday night.

Springfield’s bruising senior running back only continued his impressive start to the 2018 season, carrying the 41 times for 349 yards and five touchdowns in the Millers’ 49-35 win over Ashland at Silke Stadium. It was the second straight week that the 5-foot-10, 220-pound Diaz carried the ball over 40 times and recorded 300-plus yards on the ground.

To add a little extra salt in the wound for the Grizzlies (1-1 overall), Ashland held a 21-0 lead with one minute to go in the first quarter.

The Diaz show started in earnest right as the third quarter got going, as the Grizzlies surrendered their first-half lead after the break for the second straight week.

Once Springfield (2-0) got the lead, it stayed there, with Diaz scoring a pair of short TD runs to put the Millers ahead 42-28 early in the fourth quarter.

Grizzlies quarterback Rieger Sayre finished 19-of-34 for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Sayre’s No. 1 target, wide receiver Gabe Ekwall, caught eight passes for 208 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown from Sayre in the first quarter that put Ashland ahead 21-0.

Ashland returns to Walter A. Phillips Field next Friday when it hosts Ridgeview.

Springfield 49, Ashland 35

At Silke Stadium, Springfield

Ashland 21 7 0 7—35

Springfield 0 20 14 15 —49

A — Rodriguez 21-yard pass from Sayre (Watson kick)

A — Watson 1-yard run (Watson kick)

A — Ekwall 71-yard pass from Sayre (Watson kick)

S — Jones 15-yard pass from Lowe (kick failed)

S — Diaz 1-yard run (Lowe pass)

A — Watson 3-yard run (Watson kick)

S — Diaz 69-yard run (pass failed)

S — Diaz 2-yard run (Diaz run)

S — Diaz 5-yard run (Diaz run)

A — Watson 1-yard run (Watson kick)

S — Diaz 23-yard run (Lowe kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING

Ashland — Watson 18-57; Sayre 3-4; Harris 6-25; Stone 1-8.

Springfield — Diaz 41-349; Lowe 11-54; Lucart 20.

PASSING

Ashland — Sayre 19-34-1 287.

Springfield — Lowe 13-24-0 137.

RECEIVING

Ashland — Watson 4-14; Carter 2-9; Ekwall 8-208; Stone 1-20; Rodriguez 1-21; Warren 3-13.

Springfield — Diaz 2-28; Grousbeck 4-47; Lowe 1-(10); Hones 4-28; Lucart 2-44.

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