Lone Star Gridiron

Smithson Valley sacks Roosevelt

A playoff berth already sealed, Smithson Valley essentially went through a dress rehearsal Thursday at Ranger Stadium with its 24-7 victory over Roosevelt.

The only questions that remain are the fate of the District 26-5A championship, and who the Rangers will face next week in the opening round.

And now they wait for the answers, which will be decided by Saturday's meeting between Reagan and Madison.

A Madison win gives Smithson Valley the title, and the district's top Division II seed. But Reagan can take both with a triumph of its own, something Rangers coach Larry Hill said he'd be willing to calling in a favor to avoid.

“(Madison coach Jim) Streety's got to do his deal,” he said. “Obviously, we'll be watching with great interest.”

The Rangers (9-1 overall, 7-1 in league play) did their part, outscoring the Rough Riders (7-3, 6-2) 17-7 in the second half of a game in which they were in control from the start.

Both Hill and Roosevelt counterpart Neal LaHue agreed — the contest hinged on the Rough Riders' inability to produce in scoring position.

Roosevelt crossed the Smithson Valley 20 four times, yet only came away with one touchdown, a 15-yard pass from Devin Haywood to Dominique Henderson.

Otherwise the Rough Riders were forced to settle for, and miss, two field goals and stalled on fourth down on a late drive with the outcome already sealed.

“We didn't do a very good job in the red zone,” LaHue said. “You don't get many possessions with them, so you have to capitalize. That was critical.”

The Rough Riders had little trouble moving the football in the first half — they had 12 first downs and 167 yards at the break — but couldn't score.

Two lengthy drives, both covering 12 plays, yielded nothing thanks to errant field goals from 22 and 30 yards.

The Rangers also missed a field goal, from 35 yards, but they at least scored a touchdown to show for their efforts, a 1-yard plunge by Trey Reinhart.

The run capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive. Quarterback Jacob Brown spurred the scoring drive with 18- and 15-yard runs and a 17-yard completion to Devin Baker.

Smithson Valley opened the second half with an identical scoring drive — same length, same duration — culminated by Brown's 12-yard pass to Cody Matthews. The ball appeared to have been underthrown, but Matthews dove to dig it up just before it hit the turf to make it 14-0.

Smithson Valley led by 21 just a few minutes later on Trey Reinhart's 4-yard option toss to Garrett Renken. Reinhart, who ran for 121 yards, had a 36-yard carry earlier in the drive.

Despite Roosevelt's consolation drive later in the third quarter, that was essentially that.

“We're still a little rough around the edges, but we're getting better every week,” Hill said. “To go 9-1 with the caliber of schedule we've played — you don't want to spend too much time patting yourself on the back, but they deserve a few.”

By Dan McCarney

San Antonio  Express-News

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