In a classic state tournament game, SMB and Hutchinson traded touchdowns through the first three and a half quarters. Then with 50 seconds left in the game, the Wolfpack took the lead for good. Their dramatic 23-26 catapulted SMB to…
In a classic state tournament game, SMB and Hutchinson traded touchdowns through the first three and a half quarters. Then with 50 seconds left in the game, the Wolfpack took the lead for good. Their dramatic 23-26 catapulted SMB to the state title game for the second straight season. There were many stand out performers Thursday night, and here is who I was most impressed by.
Jalen Suggs – SMB quarterback/defensive back
Not surprising to anyone who reads this, I am sure – but Suggs was outstanding. I have been covering high school football for over ten years. Suggs is one of the most exciting, best players I have ever seen in person playing high school football. Like most games, he did it on both sides of the ball. On the first drive of the game, he undercut a deep out for an interception in the end zone. He picked off a second pass late in the game – adding a long run back. As a quarterback, he can just flick his wrist to get the ball out. On a 4th and one inside their own ten, he used his speed to get the edge for first down. Later, he threw two perfect throws – although the second pass was dropped. He used his feet to escape the pass rush and got a big gain down the sidelines. He successfully threw into a tight window for a touchdown. He threw on the run for a two-point conversion. Later, he threw a 30-yard pass, on the run, off his back foot, for a completion on the sidelines. On a critical fourth and short, he made several moves for a first down. He would throw two more touchdown passes – the final touchdown pass was on a third and goal from the 15-yard line with 50 seconds to play. It was the game-winner.
Kaden Johnson – SMB tight end/defensive end
Another two-way player, Johnson made a tough catch as he was hit. Later, he was covered well but made a contested catch for a touchdown. He made a third nice catch on the sidelines. As a defensive end, Hutch gave him some extra attention, so his defensive impact was not constant, but he made a trio of big plays. He picked up a quarterback sack and then drew a holding call on a run to his side. Finally, with Hutch driving for the tying score, Johnson hit the quarterback’s arm, forcing a fumble that effectively ended the game.
Kevvan Anderson – SMB defensive lineman
Against a predominantly running team, if you are going to hold that team to just two scores, you must control the middle. Anderson did just that. He held down the middle and made life tough on the inside. When he wasn’t making the tackle, he was drawing double teams and keeping blockers off his linebackers. He did have an offside penalty or two that I am sure he wants back. Early in the game, he made two tackles for short gains. He stuffed an inside run near the goal line – keeping Hutch out of the end zone.
Cody Kurth – Hutchinson defensive lineman
Kurth was chasing Suggs around all game. Early, he put pressure and got a hit on the quarterback. Then, he stayed at home and tackled Suggs for a short gain. He put pressure on Suggs most of the game and forced an additional two rushed throws.
Russell Corrigan – Hutchinson quarterback/linebacker
The converted tight end had a nice arm and threw well on the run. He showed his strong arm again on a throw down the sidelines. He completed a throw downfield as he was hit. Not forgetting his tight end roots, he made a physical run up the middle and later scored a 15-yard touchdown run. On defense, he came up with an interception in the end zone, and on another trip into the red zone, he contained the quarterback late in the game.