By Morgan Bryce
Smiths Station’s futility against archrival Central of Phenix City in their “Backyard Brawl” continued for an 11th straight season Friday night as the Red Devils shut out the Panthers 44-0 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium.
Central’s deeply talented squad raced out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back. By halftime, the Red Devil’s passing duo of Tucker Melton and Trey Miles had carved up the Panther defense for 236 passing yards and four TDs, two to tight end and Clemson commit E.J. Williams, to guide them to a 44-0 lead.
Both coaches agreed to a running clock in the second half as well as eight-minute quarters. They also plugged in younger players to avoid potential injuries to starters as well as give them some real gametime experience.
Despite the large lead Central possessed at halftime, Smiths Station’s rushing offense showed signs of promise, led by Corey Minton’s 33 yards rushing on five attempts. However, the Red Devil defense put a clamp on that facet of the Panther attack in the second half, holding them to eight yards on nine attempts.
Overall, the Smiths Station offense finished with 53 total yards, including -2 passing yards for the game. No defensive stats were available from this game.
With the loss, the Panthers fall to 2-1 overall, 0-1 in region play.
Next week, they will host Enterprise (Dothan) for a pivotal region matchup. The Wildcats enter the contest 1-2 overall, 0-1 in region play after a 44-0 loss at Auburn last Friday night.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. E.S.T. Panther Stadium is located at 1100 Lee Road 298.