Smiley thrives, Bulldogs fade late to Daleville

Published 12:05 am Saturday, October 6, 2012

By Joe St. Pierre

BRUNDIDGE – After leading by four early in the third quarter, Pike County (2-4) couldn’t hold on, as Daleville (6-0) scored 14 unanswered points in the final 17 minutes to keep its undefeated season alive, winning 27-17.

Quarterback Kamari Jackson finished the game 4-for-10 for 133 yards and a score. Jackson also rushed for 28 yards, while T.J. Thompkins ran for a team-high 31 yards. Stevie Smiley had just one catch on the day, but he made it count, taking it 80 yards for the score.

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“We knew they’d be tough,” said Pike County head coach Fred Holland. “Our guys played hard, we just came up short at the end of the game.”

The Warhawks drove down the field with ease on their first possession, taking seven plays to drive 72 yards, capped off by a 4-yard rush by the quarterback.

After a missed point after conversion, the Bulldogs received the kickoff and took very little time to claim the lead. On their first play from scrimmage, Jackson aired out a deep pass to Smiley, who took care of the rest on the way to an 80-yard score.

Another Warhawks touchdown, this time a 20-yard rush by the running back, gave the lead back to Daleville, 13-7, with four minutes remaining in the first quarter.

After several quick 3-and-outs, Pike County struck with a 47-yard interception returned for a touchdown. Smiley found his way to the end zone for the second time in the game, picking off a short pass in the Daleville backfield and taking it all the way untouched, giving Pike County a 14-13 lead heading into the half.

The Bulldogs added a 26-yard field goal on their second drive of the third quarter, taking a 17-13 lead.

Daleville came back with a three play, 64-yard drive to take back the lead, 20-17, with 4:32 left in the third quarter. The Warhawks would grow their lead to 10 points, with their quarterback scoring on his third rushing touchdown of the game, late in the fourth.

“We got big points early,” Holland said. “But we gave up a couple of runs and we failed to sustain the drives. They played very hard.”

The Bulldogs best efforts down the stretch came up short, as the Warhawks defense held strong, claiming the 27-17 win.