When the White Knoll band performed for the homecoming crowd Friday at the conclusion of the Timberwolves’ 68-42 victory over Gray Collegiate, it’s a little surprising Aveon Smith didn’t have a role in the show.
Because he certainly did a little bit of everything else along the way.
Smith ran for 239 yards and four touchdowns while throwing for an additional 211 yards and five scores.
“I haven’t been very vocal about it, but the kid is one of the best players I’ve ever seen in high school football,” White Knoll coach Dean Howell said. “There’s still some naysayers out there that talk about the way he throws the football and it’s all a bunch of baloney. The kid is one of the best football players I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Smith, a Miami of Ohio commitment, had his way the entire contest. He accounted for his four rushing touchdowns in the first half, then added four of his five passing scores in the second half. White Knoll (5-0) never punted and scored on 10 of its 12 possessions.
Smith became the school’s all-time passing yardage leader and pushed his touchdown pass total on the season to 16, topping the number he had last season.
“It means everything,” Smith said of setting the all-time passing yardage record. “I’ve been working my butt off since my freshman year, so it’s a good thing.”
The way things started, it was obvious the first team to get a stop would have the upper hand. The teams combined for nearly 1,200 yards of total offense and scored touchdowns on the first six possessions, three by each team.
The Timberwolves defense finally forced a turnover on downs early in the second quarter. That led to a 6-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard scoring run from Smith and gave White Knoll a 28-21 lead with 6:09 remaining in the half.
They traded scores again with White Knoll taking a 34-28 halftime lead thanks to a Smith 1-yard run with 13 seconds remaining in the half.
The Timberwolves received the second half kickoff and took less than a minute to increase the lead to 42-28. Stealing those possessions was crucial according to Howell.
“They’re an explosive team; it’s not like anybody has stopped them,” Howell said. “It’s just a matter of getting more possessions than them and we got more stops than they did, so we outscored them.”
Gray Collegiate quarterback Hunter Helms threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He has 1,972 yards in five games and is one of the top passers in the state. His favorite target was Omarion Dollison, who caught 11 passes for 211 yards and three scores.
The War Eagles, a Class 2A school, went toe-to-toe with the 5A Timberwolves, but depth finally came into play the second half.
“We were right in the football game at halftime, then we try a little onside kick and almost get it and give them a quick score,” Gray Collegiate coach Adam Holmes said. “We got behind by 14 and we tried to always stay within a score. Those were two big possessions that put us behind.”
GC 21 7 7 7 - 42
WK 14 20 21 13 - 68
HOW THEY SCORED
GC – Omarion Dollison 53 pass from Hunter Helms (Sean Anderson kick) 10:41
WK – Aveon Smith 62 run (Luis Orellano kick) 9:48
GC – KZ Adams 3 run (Anderson kick) 7:41
WK – Stephen Wilburn 27 pass from Smith (Orellano kick) 5:07
GC – Adams 7 run (Anderson kick) 0:34
WK – Smith 9 run (Orellano kick) 10:14
WK – Smith 4 run (Orellano kick) 6:09
GC – Nykeem Smith 10 pass from Helms (Anderson kick) 4:21
WK – Smith 1 run (kick blocked) 0:13
WK – Darius Derrick-Jones 36 pass from Smith (Kennedy Ramsey pass from Smith) 11:13
WK – Murray Newell 17 pass from Smith (Orellano kick) 10:13
WK – Derrick-Jones 25 pass from Smith (kick failed) 3:34
GC – Dollison 36 pass from Helms (Anderson kick) 0:15
WK – Davin Caulder 7 pass from Jaelin Gray (Orellano kick) 9:57
WK – Caulder 47 pass from Smith (run failed) 4:55
GC – Dollison 2 pass from Helms (Anderson kick) 2:21
Rushing: GC: KZ Adams 16-83, Omarion Dollison 2-37, Nykeem Smith 1-38, Hunter Helms 3-26. WK: Aveon Smith 18-239, TJ Peebles 16-139, Donavon Johnson 4-20, Austin Harris 1-0.
Passing: GK: Helms 23-37-1-391. WK – Smith 11-12-0-211, Jaelin Gray 1-1-0-7.
Receiving: GK: Dollison 11-211, Nykeem Smith 4-76, Adams 6-66, Trenton Higgins 1-26, Jack Wood 1-12. WK: Darius Derrick-Jones 5-85, Davin Caulder 2-54, Stephen Wilburn 1-27, Austin Harris 2-27, Murray Newell 1-18, Kennedy Ramsey 1-7.