The Smyrna High School football team jumped out to a 17-0 lead and held on for a 17-12 Homecoming victory over Howard tonight, Oct. 18.
At halftime, Raven Luckett was announced as the top vote-getter for Homecoming Queen.
In the float competition, the Senior Class of 2014 won, followed by a tie for second place between the Juniors and Sophomores, with the Freshmen in fourth.
FOOTBALL GAME RECAP:
The Eagles started the football game by recovering a Howard fumble on the first play from scrimmage at Howard's 10-yard line. The Wildcats' defense kept Smyrna out of the end zone, and the Eagles had to settle for a field goal attempt. Dylan Keller nailed the 18-yarder to give the Eagles a quick a 3-0 lead with 10:22 left in the first quarter.
On Howard's next possession, the Wildcats drove to Smyrna's 40-yard line, but on a fourth-and-three play, the Eagles defense stopped the Wildcats.
Smyrna took over and drove into Howard territory. The Eagles kept the drive alive by converting on fourth-and-two when quarterback Brandon Bishop passed to Othniel Edmond for a first down to the Howard 31. Another big pass play moved the ball from the 23 to the 10.
Alajuwon Hunter carried for seven yards and then blasted into the end zone on the next play for a touchdown. Keller's extra point kick gave Smyrna a 10-0 lead with about four minutes left in the first quarter.
Howard's next drive stalled, but a good punt pinned the Eagles at their own six-yard line.
Smyrna had to punt and Howard took over after a punt in great field position at the Eagles' 35. Smyrna's defense dug in. On fourth down, the Eagles forced a fumble. Howard recovered, but Smyrna took over on downs at the 30.
The big play in Smyrna's next drive was a 28-yard pass from Bishop to John Richardson to Howard's 10-yard line.
Donte Ritchie scored on a 10-yard touchdown run to cap the drive. Keller's extra point kick gave the Eagles a 17-0 lead with 6:26 left in the second quarter.
The two team's traded punts, and Smyrna held the 17-point advantage at halftime.
In the third quarter, Smyrna had to punt on its first drive. The low snap hit the ground, and the punter was tackled before he could kick the ball, giving Howard possession at Smyrna's 16.
The Wildcats scored on a nine-yard touchdown pass to cut the gap to 17-6 with 9:05 left in the quarter. The two-point conversion pass attempt was no good.
Smyrna's next drive pushed into Howard territory at the 43, but a quarterback sack on third down forced a punt.
The Eagles' defense held Howard on its next possession, and took over, moving the ball to the Wildcats' 36 at the end of the third quarter.
Page 2 of 2 - Smyrna drove to the 10-yard line, but on a running play, a Howard tackler ripped the ball away from the Eagles' running back. The Wildcats took over possession with 9:16 left in the game.
Smyrna's defense again came up big, forcing another Howard punt with 7:32 left.
The Eagles couldn't move the ball and punted to Howard's 37-yard line, but there was a penalty on the punt, and Howard elected to make the Eagles punt again from five yards back. The move backfired, though, as Chase Whaley blasted the second-chance punt to Howard's 16-yard line with 5:15 to play.
Howard's quarterback threw two incomplete passes, and then completed a third-down pass but for no gain. The Wildcats decided to go for it on fourth-and-nine from their own 16. A good rush by the Eagles forced another incomplete pass, and Smyrna took over with 4:12 remaining.
Smyrna couldn't put the game away, though. After Howard pushed the Eagles back in the first three downs, the Eagles' fourth down pass in the end zone was tipped away by a Howard defender.
The Wildcats took over with 2:24 left, and moved the ball down the field through the air. Two Smyrna penalties kept the drive alive, and Howard scored on a 16-yard TD pass with 36 seconds left to make the score 17-12. The two-point conversion was no good.
Howard tried an onside kick, but Smyrna jumped on the ball to secure the victory.
Howard fell to 4-3, while the Eagles improved to 2-5.
Smyrna will play at Dover on Friday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m., before hosting Caesar Rodney on Friday, Nov. 1, also at 7:30 p.m.