“We decided, ‘Hey, we’re better than them. We’re going to run it right down their throat,’ ” coach Bubba Tacker said
Smithville, No. 4 in the Daily Journal small school rankings, scored on Antwune Freeman’s 9-yard run with 1:28 to play on the way to a 12-0 win against Monroe County rival Hatley.
On Hatley’s ensuing possession, Kody Hathcock picked off a Cody Woods pass and Freeman tacked on another touchdown, a 25 yard run with 36.1 seconds left in the game.
“I knew it was going to be a hard-fought game,” Tacker said. “It’s a rivalry game. (Hatley) played a heck of a game.”
Smithville (3-0) had the ball on the Hatley 6-yard line with 5.7 seconds left in the half. After a delay of game penalty, Freeman was sacked.
Hatley (3-2) got its best look at scoring on a fourth-quarter shot inside the Smithville 10.
After recovering a mishandled punt snap at the Smithville 29, Hatley fullback Colby Ling took a fourth-and-3 carry 17 yards to the 5. An incompletion, a holding call and two recovered fumbles later, and Caleb Walters was short on a 38-yard field goal attempt with 6:17 to play.
Hatley coach Sam Wilson, Smithville’s high school principal last year, called the penalty a “back breaker.”
“We didn’t execute. You can blame part of it on the field and part of it was just lack of execution,” Wilson said.
Aftre the miss, Smithville drove 11 plays in 4 minutes, 49 seconds to score. With receiver Tyler Jackson under center, starting quarterback Freeman ran five times for 52 yards.
Antwune Freeman ran the ball 22 times for 122 yards. His brother, Datrune, finished with 143 yards on 27 carries.