Smyrna Looks To Avenge 2015
High school football kicked off its fourth week in Tennessee last night and one of the most anticipated games of year came with it. The defending 5A state champs from Independence, traveled east to take on perennial powerhouse, Smyrna. Both teams entered the game with a record of 3-0 and a top 10 ranking in the state. The game would also add another chapter to Williamson County/Rutherford County rivalry. Oh, and if the stakes weren’t already high enough, it was Smyrna’s homecoming.
Independence would win the coin toss and defer to the second half. The Smyrna Bulldogs found themselves in field goal range on the their first drive, but would come away empty. A missed field goal can be overcome, loosing your star running back, Casey Perkins, a much taller mountain to climb. Things would only go from bad to worse in the first quarter for the Bulldogs. Smyrna would go three and out on its next possession. During the subsequent punt Eagle senior, Landon Guidry, blew past Bulldog blockers to reject the kick, setting up great field position. The Eagles would waste no time capitalizing from 11 yards away. Guidry, would once again do the honors as he smashed his way in the end zone on a four yard run. In the blink of an eye Independence was on the board again when Brandon Hines found T.J. Sheffield just before the quarter ended.
For the Bulldogs, history would repeat itself in the second quarter, as they tallied two more turnovers. The first lapse coming on special teams again. Blake Watkins would have the ball ripped away from him while returning a punt. The second, an interception thrown by Bulldog QB, John Turner. Just as things were looking there bleakest for the Bulldogs, John Turner would redeem himself with 43 seconds left in the half, as he found wide out, Lennon Harris, for the TD. Proving that turnovers truly do win games, Independence would go in to the the second half leading 14-7 with only 94 yards of offense, but having created three take aways.
Different Chapter, Same Story
Neither teams offense would find the end zone the entire second half. Unfortunately for Bulldog fans, Independence’s D would. Mid-way through the third, on yet another Watkins fumble, Eagle corner back, Montray Steele would recover the ball and race 87 yards for the play of the game. The play would ultimately be the one that would decide the game. In a night where Smyrna could never get out of their own way, they’d fall to the Thompson Station team from Williamson County (Williamson County teams are now 3-0 against Rutherford County teams in Rutherford this year). At the end of the game if a spectator would have seen Smyrna’s yards for the game (415) to Independence’s yards (164) a novice fan could have chosen the winner. But turnovers being the ultimate equalizer that they are, The Eagles were able to head home with the win. Smyrna committed 6 turnovers on the night to go along with 7 penalties.
Smyrna (3-1) looks to rebound on the road next week against division foe, Warren County (1-2)
Independence (4-0) will look to keep their 19 game winning streak alive as they go cross town to take on rival, Summit (3-1).