Northwest Guilford Tramples Smith in Football Season Opener
The Northwest Guilford Vikings, led by quarterback Jake Smith, stand-out Thomas Hennigan, Cameron Cloud, and Kyle Finnie rolled into Smith High School and beat the host Golden Eagles 35-0 on opening night of the high school football regular season.
The Vikings stomped on the accelerator on the first drive of the game, as quarterback Jake Smith led the offense down the field on a 12-play, 73-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown pass to Thomas Hennigan with 8:58 to go in the first quarter. The extra point kick attempt was good, making the score 7-0.
Northwest’s defense made several big plays throughout the game. One of those came on the Golden Eagle’s first drive, as Northwest’s Mitch Bryant made his first of two interceptions on the night. Smith’s quarterback, Tyrell Dumpson, threw two interceptions, and struggled with controlling the ball, which gave the Viking defense an upper hand.
Bryant’s first interception gave the Vikings the ball back at their own 31-yard line. Jake Smith and the offense went to work again, and after 6 plays, and with 2:45 left in the first quarter, Smith threw a 23-yard touchdown to Cameron Cloud. The extra point kick was good, and the Vikings led 14-0.
On the first play of the second quarter, quarterback Dumpson threw his second interception of the night to Northwest’s Bryant. The offensive troubles for Smith’s Golden Eagles cannot be placed solely on the back of Dumpson, however, as he received several bad snaps throughout the game, mostly in the first half. It was an overall poorly-executed offense.
The score at halftime was 14-0 in favor of Northwest.
Kyle Finnie had two rushing touchdowns in the second half for the Vikings; the first, from just a yard out, with 2:51 remaining in the third quarter. The extra point kick was good, and the Vikings led 21-0. Finnie’s second rushing touchdown was a breakout rush up the middle of the field for 54 yards with 11:09 remaining in the game. Once again, the Vikings were successful on the point after kick, and boosted their lead to 28-0.
The final touchdown for Northwest came when Jake Smith connected with Cameron Cloud for the second time with a 28-yard touchdown pass with just over seven and a half minutes left in the game. Zac Ellison converted on his fifth extra point kick of the night. The Vikings defense continued to shut down the Golden Eagles and cruised to a 35-0 victory.
Northwest head coach Jared Rolfes was happy with his team’s performance.
“I thought we played well on special teams,” he said. “Defensively, we were absolutely outstanding, and the defensive plan was executed very well. We’re a little bit more aggressive on defense than we were a year ago, but we still have a lot to work on.”
Smith, making his first career start at quarterback, said he was “excited coming into the game, and that’s why I made a few high throws at the beginning. After I settled down and got into the flow of things, all-in-all, I think the offense did a pretty good job tonight.”
Thomas Hennigan ended the night with one touchdown, but had three touchdowns that were called back due to penalties. Two were passes from Smith, and one an interception.
“I’ve never seen anything like that, but it was kind of funny actually” Hennigan said. He also commended the defense of the Vikings, saying “they hung in there with us last year, and we came in with an attitude that we weren’t going to let that happen. The defense played great.”
Had Hennigan’s three TDs not been called back, and the Vikings had not had 12 penalties enforced, this game could have ended with a much higher score than it did. The Golden Eagles of Smith will be watching lots of tape, and trying to make adjustments on both sides of the ball after the Vikings beat them 35-0.
Northwest Guilford 14 0 7 14 --- 35 Smith 0 0 0 0 --- 0