Find My Team >>

Log in to High School OT with one click using your favorite social network:
OR
Log in using your High School OT account:



Wrong email/password combination.

Forgot password?

Register with High School OT using your favorite social network:
OR
Register for a High School OT account using our web form.
Log In
Register

Football Friday

E.E. Smith knocks off Jack Britt, 37-20


Published: 2012-10-04 16:21:00
Updated: 2012-10-06 02:24:49

Oct 6, 2012

Phillip Bell punted the ball away and walked calmly toward E.E. Smith's sideline with less than two minutes remaining in a 37-20 victory at Jack Britt. He placed his helmet on a bench, looked at the scoreboard and repeatedly pumped his right fist.

Slideshow     jackbritt-eesmith Slideshow: E.E. Smith vs. Jack Britt (Oct. 5, 2012)

All the hard work coach Duran McLaurin, his staff and the seniors have put in over the last four seasons is finally paying off.

With a decisive win against the short-handed Buccaneers on Friday, the Golden Bulls are in prime position to unseat Britt as Mid-South 4-A Conference champions. It's been a long and difficult road back for a program that was coming off an 0-11 season when McLaurin took over in 2009. E.E. Smith has gotten better and better, but Bell suffered two injuries that prevented the team from reaching its potential last year.

This season, with a healthy Bell directing the offense as a dynamic run-or-pass threat, the Golden Bulls stand 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the league.

"It killed me last year, and that's why I've been trying to give it my all this year," Bell said.

E.E. Smith hasn't earned at least a share of a league championship since 2003, when it split the Two Rivers title with South View. If Smith can beat the Tigers and Cape Fear in its final two regular-season games, an outright championship belongs to the Golden Bulls.

That's a position Jack Britt has held regularly over the last five years, but it played Friday without quarterback Mark McRae, who spent part of the week in a hospital battling an illness. When the game started, the Mid-South's top offensive player from a year ago stood outside the field, watching from behind a fence with a jacket covering his No. 4 jersey and a pink knit cap providing warmth to his head.

He climbed to the fourth row of bleachers as Bell, the top player in the league this year, led E.E. Smith to a score on its first possession.

Bell is listed at only 5-foot-10 and 174 pounds. With 4.37 speed in the 40-yard dash, big targets at receiver and unquestioned leadership ability, he's the perfect player to run the Golden Bulls' offense. After throwing for 165 yards and rushing for 109 on Friday, he's over 1,000 yards in both categories this season. He also punted effectively, twice eclipsing 50 yards, and returned one kickoff.

"Phillip is the glue that holds this thing together," McLaurin said. "He could have had this kind of year last year for us if he hadn't gotten hurt."

Facing Durham Hillside early last season, Bell dropped back to pass and rolled out to avoid a blitz. He injured his collarbone and missed more than a month, finally returning for a win against Terry Sanford. A week later, Bell injured an ankle against Jack Britt and missed most of the second half of a 35-6 loss.

Bell played quarterback again in the regular-season finale, which the Golden Bulls lost to fall into a tie for fourth place. He led E.E. Smith to a playoff upset of Southern Durham and vowed to get stronger in the offseason, working "day and night" to build up the muscles around his collarbone.

He was thrown a curveball on opening night. The Golden Bulls were missing 6-2 receiver Ismail Williamson, so McLaurin moved Bell to the edge and inserted sophomore Harold Herbin at quarterback.

Bell caught four passes in a tight victory against Overhills.

"I'm happy to play wherever they need me," he said. "I'll go in a heartbeat."

He was just fine at quarterback Friday, breaking loose for a 40-yard run late in the second quarter and scoring the go-ahead touchdown from the 3 on the next snap. He snuck into the end zone on the final play of the half and delivered a 17-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Faison early in the third quarter.

An improved defense is a big part of E.E. Smith's success, and Alex Williams' punt block was the momentum-swinging play that set up the half-ending TD. It's not a one-man show, but Bell was the player almost everyone in white, gold and blue flocked toward when the sideline celebrations began.

He remained a popular figure afterward, and his father, Charlie, had a camera around his neck to document the special moment.

"I've got a good feeling inside," Bell's dad said. "It has me a little giggly and at the same time proud. I'm proud of what he's doing and the way he's doing it."

 

COMMENTS

0 Comments



This story is closed for comments.

Our Take
More Our Take
  1. HSOTGNRC: GARNER: Clayton bats punish Garner in mercy-rule win http://t.co/maSIMZGrjk
      — Friday, April 25, 2014 1:39 AM
  2. ZachMayoHSOT: RT @WRAL: Cary residents are concerned that the town's growth is too much for its overcrowded schools: http://t.co/FB6WiAH9Vy
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:46 PM
  3. HighSchoolOT: #SpringSportsProblems RT @WRAL: Showers are expected Friday morning and severe storms are anticipated for afternoon: http://t.co/HEPZ3CDZ0Z
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:20 PM
  4. NickStevensHSOT: @zachmayohsot That will be my avi for our 24 hours of football this year.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:06 PM
  5. ZachMayoHSOT: ICYMI: Dictator @NickStevensHSOT is waiting to remove your 1st Amendment rights from HSOT forum. #MessageBoardMadness http://t.co/TWHJUQcjmj
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:02 PM
  6. HighSchoolOT: Clayton bats punish Garner in mercy-rule win http://t.co/De8TufS79j
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:59 PM
  7. NickStevensHSOT: @zachmayohsot Yep. Me and my socialist message board policies.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:48 PM
  8. ZachMayoHSOT: Took me long enough, but glad I finally saw Clayton baseball tonight. They hit the ball about as well as any team I've seen this season.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:47 PM
  9. ZachMayoHSOT: @NickStevensHSOT But Nick, where is our country headed? Thanks Obama? More like Thanks Stevens. #smh
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:40 PM
  10. ZachMayoHSOT: Garner BSB coach Derik Goffena called tonight's 12-2 loss to Clayton one of the program's worst games in years. READ: http://t.co/Wuuot1sdOq
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:38 PM
  11. NickStevensHSOT: Yes, I did just quote the Constitution in a high school softball message board. Somewhere my Constitutional Law professor is proud.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:38 PM
  12. HSOTGNRC: CLAYTON: Clayton bats punish Garner in mercy-rule win http://t.co/rYDmExP1sZ
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:37 PM
  13. ZachMayoHSOT: RT @HighSchoolOT: Clayton baseball mercy-ruled Garner tonight in a crucial GNRC game. Story from @ZachMayoHSOT. READ: http://t.co/dxfud2xAQH
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:36 PM
  14. HighSchoolOT: Clayton baseball mercy-ruled Garner tonight in a crucial GNRC game. Story from @ZachMayoHSOT. READ: http://t.co/dxfud2xAQH
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:36 PM
  15. NickStevensHSOT: @zachmayohsot They don't even know I just took Constitutional Law! Haha… #getatme
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:29 PM
  16. ZachMayoHSOT: @NickStevensHSOT NICK HATES FREE SPEECH!
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:29 PM
  17. NickStevensHSOT: Social studies lesson: 1st amendment protects against govt "abridging the freedom of speech," but not a privately owned website.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:27 PM
  18. NickStevensHSOT: I love when people make the 1st Amendment argument when we delete their comments on HSOT. And it happens regularly.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:26 PM
  19. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: BSB FINAL: Clayton 12, Garner 2. Trojans mercy'd in six innings. #hsotscores
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:57 PM
  20. ZachMayoHSOT: BSB FINAL: Clayton 12, Garner 2. Trojans mercy'd in six innings. #hsotscores
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:30 PM
  21. ZachMayoHSOT: So, Clayton is good at baseball. #analysis
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:00 PM
  22. ZachMayoHSOT: This got ugly quick. Clayton Comets score six runs in T3 and now lead Garner 8-0.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:34 PM
  23. ZachMayoHSOT: I'm at Garner tonight. Trojan baseball hosting the Clayton Comets and trailing 3-0 in T3. http://t.co/772RsJSNVp
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:25 PM
  24. NickStevensHSOT: Congrats @principalcghsnc! RT @HighSchoolOT: Cardinal Gibbons principal Jason Curtis has been named the NCHSAA Principal of the Year.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 4:31 PM
  25. HighSchoolOT: Cardinal Gibbons principal Jason Curtis has been named the NCHSAA Principal of the Year.
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 4:30 PM
  26. HighSchoolOT: Exercises can help speed recovery from vision-related concussion symptoms http://t.co/Jbg7g1Y8xb
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:03 PM
  27. HighSchoolOT: Streaking Spartans rout Heritage on the diamond http://t.co/mtkpuAxz09
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:58 AM
  28. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Sanderson baseball made quick work of Heritage on Wednesday night. They've won 4 straight in the Cap8. READ:
      — Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:32 AM
  29. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: BSB FINAL: Sanderson 8, Heritage 1. #hsotscores
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:17 PM
  30. HighSchoolOT: Exercises can help speed recovery from vision-related concussion symptoms http://t.co/EssDkV0lZX
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:01 PM
  31. HighSchoolOT: RT @ADHSJagClub: Athletic activities are on as scheduled as of now. @JMBpreps @HighSchoolOT
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:38 AM
  32. HighSchoolOT: Due to a power outage, Athens Drive HS will close at 11:30 AM.
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:26 AM
  33. HighSchoolOT: We try. RT @Million_Clay: @HighSchoolOT dropped off
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:00 AM
  34. HighSchoolOT: STORY: Middle Creek beats Panther Creek 4-3 after trailing 3-0 in SWAC baseball: http://t.co/0J1uB6HtjL
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:52 AM
  35. HighSchoolOT: SLIDESHOW: Middle Creek rallied to beat Panther Creek in a SWAC baseball game 4-3: http://t.co/u6C0Ncm6My
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:49 AM
  36. HighSchoolOT: SLIDESHOW: Millbrook's boys LAX team hammered Garner 16-2 on Tuesday: http://t.co/8wSitQqAUb
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:48 AM
  37. HighSchoolOT: SLIDESHOW: Apex defeated Athens Drive 7-4 in baseball yesterday (via @NickStevensHSOT): http://t.co/EM79tHJEmp
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:48 AM
  38. HighSchoolOT: Apex downs Athens Drive in baseball, 7-4 http://t.co/FfnvDwL6FP
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:26 AM
  39. HighSchoolOT: Millbrook boys lacrosse team hammers Garner, 16-2 http://t.co/vdGImdpwlr
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:26 AM
  40. HighSchoolOT: Late-game Mustangs pull through against Catamounts http://t.co/Vil9AZqqwC
      — Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:26 AM
HighSchoolOT Forums
More HighSchoolOT Forums