SMYRNA – Smyrna ended the drought Friday night.
Now, it prepares for a difficult final four games.
The Bulldogs routed Siegel 45-7 at Robert L. Raikes Stadium on a night it retired the jersey of former Smyrna standout Adam Smotherman, who is now an assistant strength coach for the Clemson football program.
The win snapped a 14-game losing streak to Murfreesboro programs. Smyrna’s previous last win over a team from the ‘Boro came against Siegel in 2011.
Smyrna’s Casey Perkins powered the Bulldogs with 122 rushing yards on four touchdowns to help lead the Bulldogs (5-1 overall, 3-0 in Region 2-6A) to a 42-7 halftime lead.
Perkins, a first-year running back for the Bulldogs, said he didn’t overlook the Stars (0-6, 0-3) just because they hadn’t yet won a game.
“We told each other that Siegel was 5-0 in our eyes,” said Perkins, who didn’t play in the second half after getting sick at halftime. “So, we worked like they were the best team in the league.”
Perkins had touchdown runs of 13, 1, 31 and 4 for the Bulldogs, who play at eighth-ranked Blackman next week.
“He’s buying into the coaching,” Smyrna coach Matt Williams said. “He is doing the extra work with our running backs coach (Justin) Morton.
“I think he’s doing what he needs to do to be successful for our team.”
Jordan Middleton’s 5-yard TD run gave Siegel its lone points of the night.
Quarterback John Turner added a 9-yard TD run with 3:39 left in the first half. After a Siegel three-and-out, the Bulldogs drove 74 yards on 11 plays, scoring on Turner’s 25-yard pass to Nathan Sanders to enter halftime up 35 points and start a running clock for the second half.
“We were able to move the ball well on them both run and pass,” said Turner, who was 15-of-22 passing for 267 yards. “And our offensive line had a great game.”
Smyrna finished with 457 total yards, including 190 rushing yards on 32 carries. Siegel entered the game giving up more than 400 per game on the ground.
Turner capitalized on several flip passes to a receiver in motion that led to big gains. The biggest, a 57-yard catch and run to Jordan Jones, set up Perkins’ third score.
“That spreads them out, then we come back with Casey up the middle,” Turner said.
Siegel, which began the year in a 3-4, moved back to an even front for the second week.
“We’re just trying to simplify and get better,” Siegel coach Greg Wyant said.
Smyrna lost backup Deven Sims for the season in the first quarter when Sims broke his left ankle. He left the game via an ambulance and had surgery on it Friday night.
“It was a tough loss because Deven has done such a great job,” Williams said. “He loves his teammates. He made a big change from last year, buying in to what the coaches have told him.”
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.
Oakland 48, Coffee Co. 0
Riverdale 45, Warren Co. 3
Blackman 49, Cookeville 28
Smyrna 45, Siegel 7
La Vergne 49, Maplewood 20
MTCS 40, Pickett Co. 8
Stewarts Creek 35, Antioch 6
Watertown 36, Eagleville 21
Upperman 70, Cannon Co. 12