In the second half, the Rebels showed why they’re unbeaten, moving to 6-0 with a 38-6 MVAL Antietam victory over the Leopards on Homecoming night at School Stadium.
Isiaha Smith rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Two of his scores came in the third quarter, when the Rebels turned a 13-0 halftime lead into a 32-0 advantage.
Smith ran for 158 yards in the second half and scored on runs of 11 and 69 yards in the third quarter. He scored from the 1-yard line in the second quarter and also had a 67-yard touchdown run nullified by penalty on the first play of the third quarter.
South’s defense held Smithsburg to 60 total yards in the first half. The Leopards managed 187 yards overall.
“We had three possessions and scored twice and (Smithsburg) had three possessions and did not score, so we were pleased to have a 13-0 lead,” said South coach Toby Peer.
On its first possession, following a Smithsburg punt by Zach Krall that was downed on the Rebels 3, South (6-0, 2-0) marched 97 yards in eight plays, all picked up on the ground until Peer called a pass play.
Brandon Jackson hit Teon Maeser with a perfect strike on a slant for a 21-yard score with 5:05 remaining in the first period.
With 58 seconds left in the first half, Smith scored from the 1 after being stopped by the Smithsburg defense from the 1 on the previous play.
The third quarter belonged to South.
“We had a little talk at halftime,” said Peer. “We talked about execution and speeding the game up.”
Even after Smith’s 67-yarder was called back, the Rebels marched to paydirt with Jackson scoring from the 3 at the 9:12 mark.
After a quick three-and-out by Smithsburg (2-4, 0-3), South’s K.J. White returned a punt 25 yards to give the Rebels a short field at the 45. It was all Smith from there with six rushing plays, the last an 11-yard score where he carried defenders into the end zone for a 26-0 lead.
Smithsburg reached the South 9 before losing a fumble, and Maeser picked up the ball and ran 91 yards — but for naught as South was guilty of one of its 13 penalties, although the fumble and recovery stood.
Smith made it a one-play drive from South’s 31, rambling 69 yards with 12 seconds left in the third period.
The Leopards answered with a score to open the fourth quarter on a 14-yard pass from Krall to Matt Stevens on a fourth-and-14 play.
South’s Ramal Martinez’s scored from the 21 to close out the scoring, with Martinez gaining 52 yards in the drive.
“Smithsburg played hard, as they always do,” said Peer.
While the Rebels compiled 434 total yards, the defense allowed Smithsburg only 36 on the ground.