By Terry Collins
CARTHAGE — For the first time in 74 years, the Smith Co. High Owls and Monterey Wildcats met on the gridiron last Friday night.
The year 1949 was the last matchup between the two programs which ended in a scoreless tie.
The Owls finished the regular season with a 31-7 victory on Senior Night over the Wildcats to improve to 8-2 overall and 5-0 in Region 3-2A.
The Owls finished atop the region and will host Region 4-2A fourth-seed Forrest in the first round of the this year’s Class 2A state playoffs.
“I am very proud of our players and coaching staff for a big region win,” stated Owls head coach Matt Dyer. “We challenged our guys all week to come out and be dominant. We already had the number one seed wrapped up but we didn’t want to let up any going into the playoffs and we wanted to make sure we had some momentum going into round one. Our varsity guys did a great job answering that challenge. They played hard and gave tremendous effort in shutting down another region opponent.”
“I think we had over 300 yards of offense and scored on every drive except one in the first half and held Monterey to maybe 50 yards,” continued Dyer. “Coach Hughes and his staff do a great job with that program. Monterey is a good football team with big and physical back that are athletic and run hard. We were able to get our starters out and play our JV guys during the whole second half. Everyone got to play. That was great experience for our young guys getting to play in a playoff atmosphere against a physical region opponent.”
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