By Shea Haile
GORDONSVILLE — While it may have been a Thursday night at Gordonsville High’s Turney Ford Field, the “Friday Night Lights” environment was in full effect — as the Gordonsville Tigers and Smith County Owls renewed their annual cross-county feud in last week’s season opening high school football clash.
For the hosting Big Blue, they were trying to avoid back-to-back losses to the Owls for the first time since the 2016 and 2017 seasons after falling to the Black-and-Gold 27-7 to begin the 2022 season.
Smith County utilized their imposing defensive and offensive lines to gain control in the contest and staved off a resilient Tiger squad for a 25-19 victory.
“We just have to execute better,” said Smith County head football coach Matt Dyer. “We did a lot of sloppy things out here. Hats off to Gordonsville, their staff had them well prepared and they are a good football team with a great staff. They will probably make a pretty good little 1A run this year.”
Dyer continued, “The biggest thing is that we came away with a win and it was not pretty. We did a few things right but we just have to go back and focus on getting better — continue focusing on going 1-0 each week. After tonight we are back to 0-0, next week we can not get too high or too low and just try to go 1-0 again.”
The Owls muscled their way to 253 yards on the ground as all three of the unit’s offensive scores came via the rush.
Smith County’s last touchdown came on a 26 yard interception return by senior linebacker Peyton Hix which gave the visitors a 25-13 lead midway through the fourth frame — and helped seal the Black-and-Gold victory.
READ MORE COVERAGE IN THIS WEEK’S COURIER