ANTIOCH – Entering Friday’s game, both Smyrna and Cane Ridge still were fired up from their respective Week Zero district wins. But it didn’t take long for Smyrna to prove it would come out on top, beating Cane Ridge 41–7.
What looked like a promising offensive start for Cane Ridge was brought to a halt when Smyrna senior D.J. Williams intercepted a pass from quarterback Tyler Caruthers at Smyrna’s 45 yard-line.
Cane Ridge forced a turnover on downs but again was thwarted when Smyrna junior Dagan Fultz sacked Caruthers in the end zone for a safety. The play was a career first for Fultz.
“It felt great,” Fultz said. “When we do what Coach (Matt Williams) tells us, it pays off.”
Williams seconded Fultz’s comments: “I’m proud of our defense. They picked us up when our offense was being sloppy.”
It took 19 minutes for Smyrna to see its first touchdown. It was an eight-play drive capped off by a 4-yard rush from junior Austin Brown. Brown would punch in another score with just 44 seconds remaining in the half.
“We played as a family, and everything worked out,” Brown said.
Smyrna’s Dagan Fultz (4) tackles Cane Ridge quarterback Brysen Terrell in the end zone for a safety in the first quarter Friday.
Caruthers had a promising fake punt that would later lead to an interception.
Smyrna totaled 20 first downs in the game to Cane Ridge’s eight. Smyrna got 190 yards from its ground game and 87 yards passing.
Cane Ridge coach Jonathan Parks attributed the lack of momentum to Smyrna’s physicality.
“They’re a tough team, like all Rutherford County teams,” Parks said. “They showed us what we need to fix. My hats off to Smyrna.”
Smyrna owned the second half with clock-draining drives. Smyrna running back Devin Smith finished a 10-play drive with a 3-yard plunge to bring the score to 24-0. Junior Yoshua Simmons proved vital to the Smyrna offense, accumulating 47 yards on the ground.
It was hard for Cane Ridge to get anything started after that. Turnovers for the Ravens came at the worst moments. Penalties were also a major factor with a total of 70 yards, accrued. The only score for Cane Ridge resulted from a 70-yard punt return by sophomore Lokuawn Wigfall.