But Smith said it was obvious that the Rebels didn't give their best effort.
"I think they know it," he said. "The older guys knew they played flat tonight. There was just no emotion."
"We could tell there was no intensity," Boyle linebacker Andrew Bertram said. "I felt like we picked it up a little bit in the second half, but early on we were really flat."
The Rebels know they can't afford that in their next game against Pulaski County, the team that figures to pose the biggest threat to their bid for a third straight Class AAA, District 4 title.
"We've got to be more focused," Bertram said. "We've got to come out with everything we've got: heart, desire, determination and mainly intensity. We've got to put it all together."
Signs of a possible letdown were evident. Boyle was coming off an open date, and a growing injury list left the Rebels at far less than full strength.
Smith said Boyle might have been rusty after its bye week, but Bertram disagreed.
"I don't think it was that. We just weren't ready to play," Bertram said.
"We prepared on Wednesday and Thursday, but we just didn't execute what we had practiced."
Ready or not, Boyle (6-0, 1-0 district) still had far too much firepower for Southwestern (0-6, 0-1).
Fourth straight game in which they have trailed
The Rebels were behind 3-0 after one quarter - it was the fourth straight game in which they have trailed - but three second-quarter touchdown runs by quarterback Brandon Smith gave them a lead that Southwestern's inefficient offense couldn't possibly overcome.
Smith rushed 14 times for 57 yards to increase his team-leading rushing total to 343 yards, and he completed 11 of 15 passes for 116 yards, giving him over 1,000 passing yards in six games.
The Rebels' total of 284 yards was nearly 100 yards below their average, and five penalties and two turnovers prevented them from scoring even more points in the first half.
The first turnover came just two plays into the game when Smith fumbled and Southwestern recovered at the Rebels' 13-yard line. But the Warriors came away with only a field goal.
Southwestern had eight first downs, rushed for 37 yards and had just 134 yards in all.
It was a dominating performance by a Boyle defense that seems to have a different look each week.
Five of Friday's defensive starters weren't in the lineup when the season began, and two of them - junior linebacker Danny Commarford and sophomore cornerback Hagen Smith - started for the first time due to injuries.
"I'm proud of them," Chuck Smith said of the young defenders. "They played pretty good. They've got to continue to play well. We win championships with defense, and they've got to understand that."
"What they lacked in experience they picked up with determination and desire," said Bertram, who led Boyle with 11 tackles.
Boyle drove 89 yards in 19 plays for its first score, covered 53 yards in just six plays for the second and got the third seconds after Bertram recovered a fumble at the Southwestern 17.
That was the first of three turnovers by the Warriors. Boyle's Greg Peck later intercepted a pass, and Jacob Arnold recovered a fumble.
Boyle took a 24-3 lead on Adam Dickinson's 25-yard field goal in the third quarter, then scored twice in the final five minutes on a 17-yard catch by Tyler Morris and a 6-yard run by Quinn Givhan, who rushed for a game-high 73 yards.
Now the Rebels are anticipating a taxing week of practice as they prepare for Pulaski.
"We'll have it much harder than we have the whole season," Bertram said. "This is probably our biggest game so far this year."
Mike Marsee can be reached at email@example.com.