Young Smithville trying to maintain
Through a coaching change and a serious lack of experience, the Tigers are trying to remain upwardly mobile in 2013 despite an 0-4 record.
In 2011, Smithville completed its greatest season in decades by making a playoff appearance, but slipped to 5-5 last year and missed out on a second straight post season trip.
Only four starters return from that squad and the Tigers have struggled with youth— especially on defense—under second- year coach Wayne Childs.
Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller sees similarities in his Tiger team—which has dropped three straight—and his Friday night opponent.
“We’re both in desperate need of a win,” Miller said. “It’s a situation where both teams need a win in the worst way.”
Before reeling off two straight wins over Rockdale in the past two seasons, the blue and gold Tigers held a 20-1-1 advantage in the series and had won 15 straight against Smithville, the only loss coming in 1990.
In last years’ 27-0 Smithville victory, Rockdale had 13 players sidelined with injuries, including quarterback Ethan Brinkley.
This year’s starter, Clayton Gibbs, made his first start against the Tigers.
Smithville is coming off a weather beaten 2-0 loss to Sealy which was called at halftime because of lightning strikes.
Smithvi lle’s lone scor ing chance came in the second quarter as they were able to reach the Sealy 13-yard line but a dropped pass on 4th down ended the drive.
“We showed promise tonight by correcting mistakes that have plagued us for three weeks,” said Childs. “We showed glimpses of what we are capable of doing, but we have to get rid of silly penalties.”
Desmond Bates led Smithville with 52 yards on four carries.
Smithville has had trouble against the run and have been outscored 172-43, including losses to Lampasas (47- 6), Marble Falls (69-25) and Liberty Hill (54-12).
Despite their inexperience, six players start both ways for the Tigers.
“Like us, they play a pretty tough pre-district schedule, Miller said. “They are young, but getting better. It’s a dangerous game for us.”
• The Tigers were saddled with several injuries against Liberty Hill and have lost starting left tackle Michael Boyd for the season with a dislocated kneecap, which will require surgery. With Boyd’s injury, Jakob Moreland moves from right tackle to left tackle, while senior Dillan Ford slips into right tackle. Defensive lineman Tyler Prazak suffered a pulled groin and is out for this week. Defensive lineman Kristian White is still out with a high ankle sprain. Staring center Ramsey Zinn hyper-extended his knee and is possible for Friday. Starter Dedrick Page is still out with a broken foot. Receiver Derek Whitsel suffered a deep thigh bruise and is probable for Friday. Running back/defensive back Daiylnn Ramey was carried off the field Friday with a knee injury and is questionable for Friday. Elijah Brooks has a sore left knee but should be okay and James David got his hand slammed between two helmets but should also be okay.
• Derek Whitsell made his first catches of the year and gathered