By FRANCIS FEDOR
Sumner soundly defeated Jefferson HS on Friday night, Sept. 8, in the Tank 65-0, putting up a combined 109 points on Jefferson defenses in the past two seasons. The defense has only given up six in those two contests. This season has already had a number of story lines. One of those has been head coach Alonzo Ashwood not being on the sideline with the team. The coaching duties have fallen onto the specific group coaches as they normally would, but it appears that George Selvie has taken on the leadership role for the team in Alonzo’s absence. There has been no comment from the school or any of the staff on the absence.
The Dragons left the Stingray crowd waiting for the offensive onslaught that would occur by not arriving at the Tank until 8 p.m., a full half hour after the scheduled 7:30 p.m. start time due to traffic and an accident on I-75. Jefferson needed time to put on their gear after getting off the buses and the officials had to give the teams 20 minutes to warm up. The Stingrays had long been warm, but cooled off waiting for the Dragons to arrive. The game didn’t commence until after 8:30 p.m. resulting in over an hour delay that the fans had to wait out for the start of the game. Many of the sparse Jefferson following had already arrived well before the players and even the band bus beat the players buses to the stadium.
The Stingrays are off to a 3-0 start for the season and haven’t been tested as yet. The offense has been prolific and senior QB Greg Smith III has the offense playing at a high level on the field. The ‘Rays didn’t have to work hard for many of their scores taking advantage of Jefferson turnovers or special team blunders. The first Sumner score was set up by a fumble on the Dragons first play from scrimmage and Smith seized on that short field and carried it into the end zone for the first score. Devin Spencer setup the second score on a 48-yard run from scrimmage to set up a Smith to Tyler Willams pitch and catch.
One of the story lines from this season has been the coaching staff putting Greg Smith in other positions on the field. He has played DB, is their kickoff specialist and on Friday played cornerback and made a nice open field tackle on a Dragon RB to save big yardage. The competitive nature of this game ended early as the Stingrays piled up the points off of Dragon miscues blocking punts and forcing the Jefferson punter into rushed bad punts. The defense is also playing at a high level and pressured the Jefferson QB all night. As they did last week vs. Chamberlain, the Stingray defense held the Dragons to negative yardage (-15 yards) for the game.
The Stingrays used the rout to get other players opportunities for playing time. Greg Smith started the third quarter and quickly added points to the 43-0 half-time score. Smith gave way to junior QB Layton Kennison who scampered into the end zone in the fourth quarter. Zayare Addison, a junior who plays defensive end, also made his way onto the score-sheet carrying defenders into the end-zone for his first score of the season.
The ‘Rays will now travel to Tampa to face Gaither HS on Fri. The Cowboys routed Steinbrenner two weeks ago and lost a one point game to Wharton this past week (Wharton is also on Sumner’s schedule in week 5 at the Tank). It will be the first challenge to the Stingrays this season.
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