By Terry Collins
CARTHAGE — The Smith Co. High Owls football team saw their season come to an end with a 49-20 loss to East Robertson in Owls Stadium in a Class 2A state playoff quarterfinal last Friday night.
Junior Mr. Football semifinalist Isaiah Groves proved to be the key factor as he accounted for 336 of the Indians 381 total yards in the game.
Groves had 25 carries for 253 yards and three touchdowns and added a fourth score on an 83-yard reception.
East Robertson improved to 12-1 overall and will travel to Jamestown to face off against York in the Class 2A semifinals.
The Owls had won their earlier matchup between the two teams in Cross Plains by a final score of 14-7, but explosive plays keyed the Indians playoff win.
Turnovers proved to be a thorn in the Owls’ side as they had four in the game with three of those leading to touchdowns.
East Robertson had 381 total yards in the game compared to the Owls’ 262 as the Indians only had one turnover which came on a Peyton Hix interception with 0:19.9 left in the first half.
Ethan Madewell led the Owls rushing attack with 20 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Freshman quarterback Riley Martin was 15-of-26 in the air with three interceptions and a touchdown for 128 yards.
Key Harris led the receiving corp with six catches for 69 yards and also added a two-point conversion run.
The Owls ended their season at 10-3 overall with their second quarterfinal appearance in as many years under third year head coach Matt Dyer.
“I am extremely proud of this team and our coaches,” stated Owls head coach Matt Dyer. “I am thankful for our fans and community as well that came out in full force and supported our guys. The stadium was full of SCP and it was wonderful to see.”
“East is a very good football team with very talented players,” Dyer continued. “We fought hard and never quit. We faced some early adversity in this game and had a hard time rebounding. This senior group is a special group and full of special young men.”
“I am so proud of this football team and their resiliency. It was a special season. This group won the region in back-to-back seasons in 3A and 2A, back-to-back seasons with 10 or more wins and back-to-back quarterfinal appearances. They have done a great job of setting the standard and playing to the standard of Smith County football.”
READ MORE IN COURIER SPORTS