Smithville beats Benton on Nihart's big night
By Andy Meyer The Smithville Hearald
One lengthy drive. One big play. That's seemingly all Benton needed when it took over during the fourth quarter with a chance to level the score or even take the lead.
Instead, Smithville snuffed out the Cardinals' hopes of a comeback on the way to a 34-13 victory on Friday night at Sparks Field.
The Warriors (3-1, 2-0 Midland Empire Conference) came up with two interceptions in the final nine minutes and pulled away late thanks to a dominant performance from its running game that helped generate more than 400 yards of total offense.
Benton coach Matt Tabor witnessed his team fight back from a three-score deficit, but he said committing four turnovers simply proved too much to overcome.
“We're a good team right now,” Tabor said. “But we're not good enough to commit four turnovers and win football games. You're not going to do it.
“But my hats off to them. Their kids play with tenacity.”
Smithville wasted no time jumping out to a sizable lead thanks to three rushing touchdowns in the first 12 minutes, 11 seconds by quarterback Mitch Orr, who set a career high in rushing yards (113) and touchdowns (four).
But the Cardinals (1-3, 0-2 MEC) dug their heels in and started the comeback effort shortly thereafter.
Quarterback Dominic Hill discovered his rhythm during the second quarter, dashing for a 40-yard gain shortly before a touchdown strike to Devon Burton. Benton closed to within a single touchdown after Tobin Sisk's 6-yard score on the opening drive out of halftime.
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