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Big games bring out best in Smith

WESSON – Big games bring out the best in Matt Smith. Wesson’ssenior quarterback was instrumental in the Cobras’ 42-37 road winover the Florence Eagles. He passed for 139 yards and twotouchdowns. On the ground, Smith rushed 17 times for 123 yards andtwo TDs.

That effort has earned Smith The DAILY LEADER’s Offensive Player ofthe Week. He has helped the Cobras march to an unbeaten (5-0)record midway through the 2010 campaign.

Wesson head coach Tommy Clopton recalled some of Smith’s heroicsagainst the Class 4A Florence Eagles who were celebrating theirhomecoming last Friday. “Matt scored the second play of the gameoff a keeper of about 60 yards. Later in the game, Florence had cut(lead) to a touchdown. That (touchdown) pass to D.J. Coleman was ahuge play.”

Clopton said the TD pass to Coleman chilled Florence’s comebackmomentum. “Matt stepped up in the pocket and hit D.J. across themiddle. That took the momentum away from them. Matt made somereally big plays for us and he has been making them eachweek.”

This is the second time for Smith to received Player of the Weekhonors this season. He preferred sharing the credit with histeammates.

“It was blocking, catching and running,” said Smith. He passed fortwo touchdowns and ran for another.

“We ran read on the first one and I cut it back,” Smith recalled.”On the second, I saw they had more people on the reverse side, soI kept it the other way.”

Asked about the TD toss to Coleman, Smith said, “We ran a post playand D.J. ran it good. I got it in a hole to him. He made a move andwent the distance. D.J. is fast.

“A lot of credit goes to D.J. All I have to do is get it to him andhe’ll do the rest.”

Smith praised his offensive line. Working in the front trench areleft tackle Tyler Hall, left guard Mac Lowery, center Cullen Greer,right guard Zach Wilson, right tackle Derrick Lyles and tight endPatrick Boone.

“Our offensive line has been doing a good job. We aren’t as big asthe other teams but we outcoach them.”

Clopton serves as the team’s offensive coordinator.

“Our team has been improving overall each week,” said Smith. Wessonlost two key starters to leg injuries earlier in the season,running back Kyle Cross and wide receiver Austin Graham. The teamhas compensated for their loss.

Steve Jones starts at running back, along with Coleman. Gage Wilsonalso works in the offensive backfield.

Asked about the Region 6-2A race, Smith said he is “hoping for thebest. I’m not going to do anything like brag.”

Looking ahead to Friday night’s region home game versus Hinds AHS,Smith said, “They all have speed.”

On defense, Smith starts at free safety. “I like it a lot. I get achance to pick off a ball and make some hits.”

In the weight room, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Smith benches 225pounds.

A spiritual young man, Smith said he has been blessed with athleticability. “I want to give all the credit to my God and JesusChrist.”

His parents are Steve and Brenda Smith. He has a younger brother,Josh, age 16.

Asked about his favorite dessert, Smith said sweets give him aheadache but he loves seafood.

A standout baseball player as a pitcher and infielder, Smith couldplay both sports at the next level. His main concern right now isWesson football.