Mt. Tabor’s defense leads to victory over Smith

Photo by Timothy Ramsey- Ben L. Smith cornerback Jaquise Hickman, No. 6 in green, intercepts a pass in their game against Mt. Tabor.

Mt. Tabor’s defense leads to victory over Smith
September 28
04:00 2017

Mt. Tabor head coach Mike Lovelace knew after the team’s opening week loss to East Forsyth his team would rely on its defense until the young guys on the other side of the ball caught up to the speed of the high school game.  The defense did its job and more in the 20-6 win against Ben L. Smith out of Greensboro last Thursday.

The Spartans have now run off four victories in a row after their opening week defeat.  The offense continues to grow each week and the defense, which is led by upperclassmen, has consistently held the opposing offenses at bay.

“I think we continue to grow as a whole team and going back to Week One, we were very young but we played a great team in East Forsyth,” said Lovelace.  “I think the guys have been really focused and committed to what we are doing and we are getting better every week.”

Tabor began the evening on defense and totally stuffed the Golden Eagles’ first drive.  On the opening drive for the Spartans, quarterback Tyress McIntyre threw an interception.  He quickly bounced back on the next possession and threw a touchdown to Rahkem Roberts.

Toward the end of the half, McIntyre connected with Roberts on a quick screen and Roberts took it 60 yards for the score.  Tabor ended the half on a high note as they intercepted Smith quarterback Jaquise Hickman as time ran out.

“In the first half it just seemed like we weren’t ready to play,” said Smith head coach Shay Morris.  “Our kids were just running around lackadaisical but one thing I can say is that they put up a good fight.”

Coming out of intermission, the Spartans continued to apply pressure on defense, not allowing Smith to get rolling on offense.  The front seven of the Spartan defense was in the face of the Smith quarterback all night.

Even with the victory Lovelace and the Spartans know they left points out there on the field.  Lovelace says they cannot continue to do so going forward.

“Today I thought we played great in the first half, the second half was a bit more sloppy but we found a way to make some plays when we needed to,” Lovelace continued.  “We actually missed a few plays where we really had a chance to break it open but our defense is playing great and our offense is growing.”

“All of my skill guys on offense did not play one down of JV football last year.  They are all new, we have some good skill and our quarterback is getting better so I hope we can continue to do it next week against Western Guilford.”

Late in the game and still fighting to get on the board, the Golden Eagles recovered a fumble.  A few plays later Hickman scrambled out of the pocket, made a few defenders miss and finally put the Golden Eagles on the board.

“We made some adjustments at halftime and I was very impressed with how our offense came out in the second half,” Morris said.  “One of the things we have to learn from this game is that we have to play four quarters.”

“We have a really good team here with some young kids,” Morris went on to say.  “I love this group of kids we have here and the future is bright here at Smith high school.”

Lovelace says going into next week they will focus on execution but says when you are dealing with young kids you have to pay extra attention to the details.

“The kids believe in what we are doing, it’s just a matter of getting them in that game situation to make that play at the right time,” Lovelace said.  “We have been fortunate to make some big plays the last four weeks, but I thought tonight we lost our focus in the second half.  On Monday when we get back at it we will be focused and ready to go.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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