Regardless of where Nature Coast goes from here, running back De’Shawn Smith has had one heck of a season.
The senior padded an already remarkable statistical season in Friday’s playoff victory against River Ridge. Smith finished with six touchdowns, pushing his season total to 63, with a 445-yard performance. In the process, he also surpassed 3,500 yards on the season.
Part of Smith’s push for yardage came from how tight Nature Coast’s playoff victory was. When Smith scored his sixth touchdown of the game and a subsequent two-point conversion it gave Nature Coast just a 42-33 lead. That would up as the final score, with Smith’s 28 carries the key to Nature Coast’s advance in the state playoffs. The win also kept Smith and his teammates undefeated in his final high school season.
With 63 touchdowns this season, Smith currently holds the sixth highest single-season total in U.S. history. He can move into a tie for fourth with one score next week, or a tie for third with two scores; the all-time record holder remains former North Carolina State star T.A. McLendon, who had 68 in 2001 for Albermarle High in North Carolina.
Could Smith still catch McLendon? At this point, all bets are off.