QB Smith keys win for Rebels

September 08, 2003|JILL ERWIN

Brandon Smith soaked in the scene, watching as his Boyle County teammates celebrated and listening as people at Admiral Stadium called his name.

Smith, the Rebels' junior quarterback, helped Boyle top Danville 45-26 in a surprisingly easy victory Friday.

Smith deserved the moment of enjoyment after expertly leading the Rebels' offensive outpouring, as he threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more.

"This is great," Smith said. "Just to come out and win this, this is a big game. The state championship game is up there, and the Boyle-Danville game is right below it. It feels great to win.

"This week at practice, (assistant) coach (Chris) Pardue looked at the defense and found their weaknesses. We came out, we executed and we had desire. We just wanted it."


Smith was the main cog in a powerful Boyle offensive machine. The Rebels totaled 436 yards of offense and racked up 21 first downs thanks to consistent scoring drives.

The Rebels (3-0) dominated the line of scrimmage, and Danville coach Sam Harp said his defense showed it had a lot to learn.

"Defensively, I don't think we can take anything good out of this," Harp said. "They just plain gave us a good ole country butt-whipping up front. What can you say? It was obvious to anyone that watched the game that they just manhandled us up front."

A big part of that comes from Smith. One year removed from being a green quarterback in his first season as a starter, Smith directed the Rebels like a veteran. He completed 25-of-35 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns and also ran 12 times for 56 yards and two scores.

"Experience, I still think, is everything," Smith said. "It's a huge difference between this year and last year for me personally. I knew what it was going to be, I was ready for what it was going to be and I came out and executed."

Things started off a little rocky as Boyle punted on its first possession and also had two turnovers in the first quarter.

But the Rebels quickly rectified that. Boyle scored on all three of its second-quarter possessions, two of which were nine-play drives, and its first three possessions of the second half.

Boyle also made big plays when it had to, converting nine of 14 third-down chances.

"The offense was just super," Boyle coach Chuck Smith said. "(Assistant coaches) Chris Pardue and Chris Mason had a great offensive game plan and it kept Danville off-balance all night. Danville never could stop us and our offense really kept us in the game.

"They took the attack to Danville the whole night and that's what we had to do to win."

The Admirals (2-1) not only couldn't handle the Boyle attack, but Danville also struggled to get its own attack going. On three of its first four possessions, Danville was whistled for an illegal procedure on either its first or second play.

Harp said it was mental blocks like that that hurt the Admirals

"Several times on first down, we shot ourselves in the foot with illegal procedures and things like that," Harp said. "We'd start off in a hole and you can't do that against good football teams."

Brandon Smith was hardly the only offensive standout for Boyle. Senior Brad Cloud scored three times as well, twice on passes from Smith and once on the ground. Sophomore running backs Quinn Givhan and Danny Commarford combined for over 100 yards, and 11 different players picked up yardage for Boyle.

Smith credited his offensive line with giving him the time to make the plays.

"They gave me tons of protection, I found the openings, and the receivers made the plays," Smith said.

One of the big momentum changes came early in the game. Facing a third-and-8 from his own 43-yard line on Boyle's second possession with the Admirals already leading 6-0 thanks to a 79-yard Kelvin Turner scoring run, Smith threw the ball to Seth Tamme. The ball was behind Tamme, but Danville's Davis Teater tipped it into the air, allowing Tamme time to grab it for the first down. Boyle went on to score its first touchdown four plays later and never trailed again.

Danville did come up with some big plays, as the Ads had five plays from scrimmage gain at least 35 yards each. Those five plays accounted for 257 of Danville's 357 total yards. Kelvin Turner had touchdown runs of 79 and 59 yards for Danville, picking up 205 yards on 17 carries, and Charles Penix had a 42-yard run in the fourth quarter.

"I think we're starting to find ourselves a little bit offensively," Harp said. "I think we're going to be a team to be reckoned with on down the road and I think we can make a run at a state championship. We did it in 2000 and 2001 when they beat us, and we're going to go forward from here."

Chuck Smith said his team will also move forward, but he will give the Rebels time to savor this victory before getting back to the drawing board Monday.

"It is a big deal, but it's over with tonight. Well, this weekend," Smith said. "I'll give them this weekend, but Monday we're getting back to business. It was a lot of fun for them tonight. They prepared like a champion and they played like a champion tonight."

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