Derek Smith was everywhere for the Redmen in Friday night’s opener, a 28-14 victory over Perkins.
He was set back to receive kickoffs for the Bellevue, returning the first for a 95-yard touchdown and the second to the Pirates’ 35.
He was in the defensive backfield, picking off Brandon Smith’s desperation fourth-down toss late in the first half.
He was in the Pirates’ offensive backfield, chasing down the Perkins quarterback for a fourth-down sack and forced fumble, a 20-yard play with and change of possession.
While Jalen Santoro rolled up the bulk of Bellevue’s numbers in Friday’s opener, Smith made as strong an impact as any other player in the game.
(For the Bellevue-Perkins game story, read Saturday's Sandusky Register.)
GETTING THEIR KICKS
A significant statistic for the Pirates on Friday night: They punted the ball a grand total of one times.
Drive 1: Turnover on downs (Bellevue’s 45)
Drive 2: Punt
Drive 3: Touchdown
Drive 4: Interception
Drive 5: Missed FG attempt
Drive 1: Touchdown
Drive 2: Turnover on downs (Bellevue’s 15)
Drive 3: Turnover on downs (Bellevue’s 32)
Drive 4: Turnover on downs (Bellevue’s 20)
The Pirates’ statkeepers had Perkins for 317 yards. Five of Perkins’ scoreless drives ended inside of Bellevue’s 32-yard line.
FINDING THE RANGE
While Jalen Santoro’s top target, Miles Foos, is gone for the season with an ACL injury, the junior quarterback still found ways to move the ball around. He was 9-of-11 passing for 42 yards, mostly flat routes, with only one attempt longer than 20 yards (an incompletion).
DRIVE OF THE GAME
In the closing minutes of the third quarter and the Pirates threatening the Redmen’s seven-point lead, Bellevue turned to ball control.
The Redmen took the air out of the ball — at first — to drain the clock. Early in the first quarter, with the Pirates thinking run, Bellevue went to the air for completions to Brendon Wagoner and Trent Stamm.
The drive ended with a 10-yard sweep to the weak side by Santoro, who deftly reached across the goal line as he passed the pylon for the 28-14 lead with 6:35 to play.
But wait a minute. Rewind that. The play of the drive wasn’t even the touchdown, it was eight plays earlier.
Holding onto a 21-14 lead with 10:50 to play, facing fourth and 1 on their own 41, Ed Nasonti and the Bellevue coaching staff gambled by going for it, and won big.