If you happened to be at the high school football game between Smyrna and Stewarts Creek on Friday, October 13, then you understand the headline. If you didn’t happen to make it, then we will explain.
The real beauty of high school football is it epitomizes the essence of the game. Teams do battle because they love the sport and want to represent their community and their school colors. Oftentimes, especially in more populated areas, the battle is with neighboring schools which adds even more spice to this delectable dish. So here is where we examine the battle between the Bulldogs and Red Hawks.
First of all the atmosphere was electric as a good crowd was present being that the schools are maybe five miles apart. Evoking memories of days past when long lines to get in were the norm, the pre-game vibe told the veterans among us this had a chance to be something special.
The contest itself was certainly not the most cleanly played in that both teams made their mistakes, but the roller coaster ride Smyrna’s 19-18 victory provided was one for the ages. The Bulldogs jumped out 13-0 in the first half, but there was a sense the Creek was going to rise. Scoring on the final play of the first half, the Red Hawks flew into intermission with momentum on their side. A third-quarter touchdown but failed conversion left the Hawks down 13-12 going into the final stanza. With about 8 minutes remaining, the Creek converted a fourth and goal play and assumed the lead 18-13. With hearts full of hope, the Hawks were ready to fly to their first-ever win in this series. Back, however, came the Bulldogs, who scored on a fourth and 8 play when senior Michael Robinson battled his way into the end zone on a 41-yard pass, catch, and run with 1:50 remaining. Robinson then sealed the deal by intercepting a Stewarts Creek pass.
“I am really proud of our kids for how they stepped up when we needed to”, says Smyrna head coach Matt Williams. “Michael Robinson was huge at the end and showed the heart of a Bulldog. Stewart’s Creek has a really good team and has no reason to hang their heads.”
In the end, Smyrna may have been the team ahead on the scoreboard, but in reality, everyone there was a winner, no matter which side you were on.