Confident Smith leads BHS rushers

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2009

Brookhaven running back Semmie Smith is The DAILY LEADER’sOffensive Player Of The Week. Smith rushed 29 times for 197 yardsand 3 touchdowns in Ole Brook’s 27-20 road victory over theLawrence County Cougars.

“I felt confident going into the game,” said Smith. “We had justcome off a bad loss but we had a good week of practice.”

The Panthers (2-1) rebounded from a 34-0 setback at Clinton,their first shutout since 2005.

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A big momentum-changer took place early in the third quarter.Lawrence County had just scored to tie the game 14-all. The Cougarsused a short, pooch kickoff and Smith gathered in the football athis 29-yard line.

Smith returned the kickoff 57 yards to the LCHS 14. On firstdown, quarterback Duwone Harris scored the go-ahead TD and theCougars never recovered.

“When I got the ball on that kick return, I saw the middle ofthe field wide open, so I just took it,” Smith recalled. “I feltpretty good.”

A running back is only as good as his offensive line. Smith gavecredit to the men up front.

Working in Brook’s offensive line are Sam Ballard at tackle,Mitch Case at center, Derrick Henderson at tackle, and TameusHooker and Will Furr at guard and Nick Peavey at tight end.

“They’re a valuable group,” said Smith. “They make mesuccessful.”

According to Smith, Harris is steadily maturing at quarterback.”Duwone is a first-year quarterback but he gets better every game.He has good athletic ability and that makes up for small mistakes.We work good together.”

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey said Smith has shown seniorleadership. “All-around, Semmie is doing a better job as a player.He ran the ball hard against Lawrence County. He has become abetter blocker.”

Last season as a junior, Smith rushed for 1,050 yards and 18touchdowns, earning All-Lincoln County and All-Region honors. Healso caught 6 passes for 19 yards as the Panthers advanced to thesecond round of the Class 4A state play offs.

“We have talent, speed and good skill players on our team thisyear,” said Smith. “It’s up to us and what we do with it.”

He is the 17-year-old son of Semmie and Kathleen Smith. He hasan older brother, Mario (Smoke) Smith, a West Point graduate whostarted at safety for the Cadets. He’s currently working incorporate business and living in Kentucky.

Smith said he plans to play football on the next level. “I wantto play football in college. I’ve received a lot of offers but Ireally want to keep it (options) open right now.”

Asked about career plans, Smith said he interested in criminallaw and a career in forensics.

Smith plans to run track in the spring: the 200 and 400-meterdashes, and the 4×200 relay. In his spare time, he enjoys watchingTV.

His favorite NFL player is San Diego running back LaDanianTomlinson.