Trailing 6-0 at halftime after allowing the opening kickoff returned for a touchdown, the Daily Journal's third-ranked small school took to the air in the final half to score three touchdowns and survive an upset bid by Monroe County rival Hatley.
The Seminoles left the Hatley field Friday night with a 21-20 victory to improve to 3-1 on the season.
The Tigers, who took an early lead on Austin McHenry's 91-yard opening kickoff return, suffered their first loss of the season, falling to 4-1.
"We knew they couldn't cover any of the receivers we have," said Smithville wideout Damontrio Freeman, who caught a pair of touchdown passes.
The Seminoles controlled the ball for 10 minutes and 33 seconds on their only possession of the second half, as they ran 17 plays - excluding penalties - starting from their own 5-yard line before stalling at the Hatley 43.
"First time all year, four games now, that we finally controlled the front," said Smithville offensive lineman Steve Adams. "We're all 6-3, 280 pounds, and we finally showed it tonight.
"But what we did, isn't anything compared to what the backs did: They hit their holes and they hit them hard."
Despite gaining yards on the ground, Smithville's final two possessions of the first half would end on an interception and an incomplete pass.
"They had a little pass rush, but we were containing them well," Adams said. Quarterback Austin Spann "was shaken in the first half, but he got his confidence back in the second half. He calmed down a little bit. He certainly had time (to throw) and he hit his receivers."
Freeman's first score was a 35-yard pass and catch from Spann less than a minute, 15 seconds into the second half.
Hatley running back Tyler Edwards - who, on defense, was victimized by his cousin, Freeman - scored on a 17-yard run a little more than a minute after Freeman's score. The two-point conversion attempt failed, as the Tigers regained the lead at 12-7.
Spann threw to running back Datrune Freeman on a flare out, and Freeman then cut back inside to score from 19 yards out with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter. The extra point was good to give the Seminoles a 14-12 advantage.
Damontrio Freeman scored his second touchdown on a similar pattern, a fly pattern down the field, as Spann hit him in stride for a 58-yard score.
"I was looking for the run and he then ran right past me," Edwards, a cornerback for Hatley, said about his cousin, Damontrio Freeman. "I ran up to play the run, and he ran past me every time."
The Tigers made things interesting in the fourth quarter when quarterback Cody Woods found Sawyer Weaver wide-open down the Hatley sideline for a 35-yard touchdown with 6:58 to play in the game. Woods was on the receiving end of the two-point conversion pass from Codi Taylor that pulled the Tigers to within one, 21-20.
"It was a good roll-out play," Woods said of the touchdown pass. "Get around the corner, find him wide open and throw it to him for a touchdown."
Damontrio Freeman, however, finished things off with his second interception of Woods to ice the game for the Seminoles in the final 20 seconds.
Click here for photo gallery from NEMS Daily Journal chief photographer Thomas Wells of the game.