Weather suits Seminoles just fine

Football stockBy Gene Phelps

Daily Journal

SHELBY – A rain-soaked football field was ideal Friday for Smithville.

The Seminoles’ option attack – powered by running back Tyler Hood – sloshed up and down a cold, muddy playing surface to defeat Shelby Broad Street 14-0 in the MHSAA Class 1A state quarterfinals.

“These conditions – when its slick and wet – were an advantage for us with our offense,” a mud-caked Smithville quarterback Drew Lann said. “We know our offensive line is going to make holes.”

Those holes opened by the O-line allowed Hood to rush for 183 yards on 23 carries and score two touchdowns.

“I just give it to God,” Hood said postgame. “Our line opened up the holes and our wide receivers got the ends secured. We had a few fumbles, but it worked out.”

Smithville (10-3) advances to next week’s state semifinal game against St. Aloysius, a 13-12 winner against Hamilton.

Broad Street (9-3) had no answer for Smithville’s zone read attack in the first half.

Hood rushed for 101 yards on 13 carries and Lann added 55 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Hood gave the Seminoles an 8-0 halftime lead when he scored on a 5-yard run with 1 minute, 21 seconds remaining to cap a 13-play, 80-yard drive that featured all running plays.

Austin Craig scored on the 2-point conversion run.

Broad Street reached the Smithville 13-yard line early in the second quarter before being stopped on downs.

Neil Knight stopped another Jaguars’ drive with a pass interception at the Smithville 1-yard line.

The Seminoles, behind a 39-yard Hood scamper, reached the Broad Street 20 following the interception, but lost the ball on a fumble.

An interception by Hunter Bennett and a 44-yard run by running back Neil Knight set up Hood’s second TD, a 20-yard sprint off left tackle on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 14-0.

Bennett’s second interception of the half stopped a late scoring threat by Broad Street. He returned the pick 54 yards with 3:20 remaining.

From that point, Hood ran and so did the clock.

“We just need one more win,” Hood said.

gene.phelps@journalinc.com