By Steve Keenan
Last week, Summers County applied some salve to a three-game losing streak with a 48-20 spanking of Independence.
The recovery continued Friday with a 48-12 swamping of Class A No. 10 Meadow Bridge at Frank Arritt Stadium.
Junior quarterback T.J. Smith glided around and darted through the Meadow Bridge defense for 234 rushing yards and five touchdowns — including four in the first half on runs totaling 139 yards — as the Class AA No. 18 Bobcats (5-3) overcame an early 12-7 Meadow Bridge lead en route to the lopsided decision.
“We were just able to make plays,” said Summers County coach Josh Houchins. “The line played extremely well. The line is starting to come around.
“We had too many athletes on the field. And we put together our most complete game of the year.”
Meadow Bridge coach Larry McClintic agreed.
“They probably played their best football game of the year,” he said. “They spread us out and we just couldn’t get our hands on them.
“We had kids in position and couldn’t make the tackle. They just had too much speed.”
Meadow Bridge (6-2) cut the deficit to 7-6 on quarterback Cole Porter’s 21-yard touchdown run on an option play late in the first quarter, then the Wildcats went up 12-7 when Abber Gelsinger hustled downfield on the ensuing kickoff and successfully fought three Bobcats receivers for the ball, putting the hosts in position for Jake Parker’s 4-yard score and the five-point lead.
After that, it was all Summers, as the Bobcats put 41 straight points on the scoreboard. The onslaught was ignited by Isaiah Brown’s 75-yard TD gallop, then Smith scored on runs covering 11, 77 and 36 in the second period — the last tally coming on a third-and-19 play with just 7.8 seconds left — to make the cushion 35-12 at the intermission.
For the Bobcats in the second half, Smith scored on a 1-yard sneak, and Erik Lindsey returned a fumble 65 yards to paydirt.
In addition to Smith’s standout game, Brown rushed 14 times for 127 yards and a score, and Dustin Smith added 70 yards on 13 attempts.
Parker finished with 28 carries for 119 yards and one score for Meadow Bridge, which plays at Mount View Friday.
“Parker’s a good back if you can get him out of the backfield,” said McClintic. “They (Summers) crowded the line of scrimmage.
“And we made a bunch of early mistakes and got down.”
Cody White had 14 tackles for the Meadow Bridge defense.
The Bobcats are idle Friday before hosting Richwood on Oct. 26.
“This is huge for us,” said Houchins. “We know now we are in must-win situations.
“We’ve got our last two games (Richwood and Valley) at home. This (win) is good for us to keep our morale going heading into the off week.”
Summers County 48, Meadow Bridge 12
SC (5-3) 13 22 7 6 — 48
MB (6-2) 12 0 0 04 — 12
SC: T.J. Smith 15 run (Buddy Vega kick), 7-0, 6:05
MB: Cole Porter 21 run (run failed), 7-6, 3:52
MB: Jake Parker 4 run (run failed), 12-7, 1:47
SC: Isaiah Brown 75 run (run failed), 13-12, 1:19
SC: Smith 11 run (Dustin Smith run), 21-12, 8:51
SC: T.J. Smith 77 run (Vega kick), 28-12, 5:48
SC: T.J. Smith 36 run (Vega kick), 35-12, 0:07.8
SC: T.J. Smith 1 run (Vega kick), 42-12, 8:42
SC: Erik Lindsey 65 fumble return (run failed), 48-12, 0:42.9
RUSHING — SC: T.J. Smith 20-234-5, Brown 14-127-1, Dustin Smith 13-70, Lindsey 2-4, Matt Ryan 6-22, Team 3-(-17). MB: Parker 28-119-1, Shane Harless 3-6, Ryan Church 5-20, Jennings Berry 2-3, Porter 3-22-1, Abber Gelsinger 2-13.
PASSING — SC: T.J. Smith 0-1-1-0-0. MB: Porter 1-7-1-4-0, Church 0-1-0-0-0.
RECEIVING — SC: None. MB: Parker 1-4.
TURNOVERS — SC: Allen Brown (FR), Team (FR), Isaiah Brown (INT), Lindsey (FR-TD). MB: Gelsinger (FR), Parker (INT), Jimmie Richmond (FR), Dustin Richmond (FR).