By Morgan Bryce
Smiths Station ended its season on a winning note by defeating Eufaula 35-34 in a thrilling road victory Friday night at Tigers Stadium.
Coach Mike Glisson’s ground-and-pound philosophy worked to perfection, as the Panthers rushed 48 times for 287 yards. L.C. Harris was the rushing leader, carrying the ball 13 times for 94 yards and three touchdowns.
Sophomore quarterback Corey Minton relied on his legs instead of his right arm to make plays, carrying the ball seven times for 89 yards and another score.
A tight first half saw the Tigers carry a 14-9 lead over the Panthers into the halftime break. The second half saw both offenses find their footing, as the two teams combined for 46 points.
Despite trailing 28-21 with 8:50 left in the game, Smiths Station rallied with two more TDs to pull ahead and ultimately clinch the victory.
With the win, Smiths Station moves to 6-4 overall for the season, their best finish since the 2013 season when they went 10-3 overall and advanced to the state quarterfinals. The Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention after their Oct. 26 loss to Prattville, which left them with a 2-4 record in region play.
Even with a young roster, Glisson and his staff have created a major turnaround for a Smiths Station program suffering a steep decline, coming off a winless 2017 season in which they averaged 3.7 points per contest offensively and yielded 44.7 points per contest defensively. The panthers managed 16.1 points per game this season offensively and only allowed 20 points per game defensively.