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. Chris__Edwards: On the list of the top 200 jobs in America (higher the number the worse the job), broadcaster ranked number 196. Hmm…. Its not so bad!
      — Wednesday, April 16, 2014 12:06 AM
  2. ZachMayoHSOT: RT @im_dat_kid_dtae: My Top 5 Schools Are: Kansas , Nc State, Virginia , Virginia Tech , Providence !
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:38 PM
  3. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_BASE: Tonight's game vs. Davidson has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Duke returns to action tomorrow at NC Central.
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 6:32 PM
  4. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_GAMEDAY: Tonight's @Duke_BASE game vs. Davidson has been pushed to a 6:30 first pitch due to rainy conditions.
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 6:03 PM
  5. Chris__Edwards: GREAT to be back at Coombs! See you at 5:50 on http://t.co/ZDcDLUYbcA @Duke_BASE http://t.co/dLsn0ia6Xe
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 4:18 PM
  6. Chris__Edwards: Nothing depresses you quite as much as realizing how much you have to pay to the IRS. #TaxDay
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 2:53 PM
  7. Chris__Edwards: Back to Coombs tonight as @Duke_BASE hosts Davidson. Our coverage starts at 5:50 on http://t.co/ZDcDLUYbcA! @BlueDevil_NTWRK
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 2:34 PM
  8. ZachMayoHSOT: RT @GHHSAD: Today's BSB game at Cary has been moved to tomorrow, same times.
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:15 PM
  9. HighSchoolOT: The official hashtag for the http://t.co/9qqseesaE4 Jamboree is #HSOTJamboree. You'll be using it over the next two days. Big news tomorrow!
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:54 AM
  10. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_BASE: Deitrich Latest Transfer to Excel at Duke - Transfers Playing Key Roles at Duke http://t.co/4juuk4lWoa
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:11 AM
  11. NickStevensHSOT: RT @HighSchoolOT: We are less than 36 hours away from the #HSOTJamboree announcement. @NickStevensHSOT will host a special show Wed at 8 PM…
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:50 AM
  12. HighSchoolOT: We are less than 36 hours away from the #HSOTJamboree announcement. @NickStevensHSOT will host a special show Wed at 8 PM on HSOT!
      — Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:50 AM
  13. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Up late working on this #HSOTJamboree announcement script. We'll host a special show at 8 PM on Wednesday to announce …
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 11:58 PM
  14. NickStevensHSOT: Up late working on this #HSOTJamboree announcement script. We'll host a special show at 8 PM on Wednesday to announce the field/match-ups.
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 11:57 PM
  15. Chris__Edwards: Guy gives up 5 runs and the lead but still gets the win. #ILoveBaseball
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 10:52 PM
  16. Chris__Edwards: DAN UGGLA!!!! Stay hot, kid.
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 10:38 PM
  17. Chris__Edwards: Unreal.
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 10:20 PM
  18. ZachMayoHSOT: Don't forget, Wednesday night we're announcing the football teams participating in this year's #HSOTJamboree. The field is very, very strong
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 9:03 PM
  19. ZachMayoHSOT: Normally I'd be ill about this rain but I'm pretty happy it washed all the pollen off my car.
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 7:05 PM
  20. Chris__Edwards: RT @kellymo85: @Chris__Edwards is all set for the @Duke_BASE show starting at 6:30 from tobacco rd.Listen at http://t.co/bJnORSRPCb
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 6:47 PM
  21. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_BASE: Duke Baseball Show is about to begin! Listen live here: http://t.co/XtpZV1lfsg #goduke
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 6:36 PM
  22. NickStevensHSOT: This is what rain in the spring looks like in NC... #AllThePollen http://t.co/ZgIxPiB0vP
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 6:30 PM
  23. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: From yesterday, my story on @TheNyNy2 and the bond he has with twin sister and track athlete @Heart_Hines. READ:
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 5:32 PM
  24. ZachMayoHSOT: From yesterday, my story on @TheNyNy2 and the bond he has with twin sister and track athlete @Heart_Hines. READ: http://t.co/HmCz5yXaey
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 5:32 PM
  25. HighSchoolOT: STORY: Garner's Nyheim Hines is fueled on the track by a sibling rivalry: http://t.co/VIiGp40uoi
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 12:02 PM
  26. HighSchoolOT: SLIDESHOW: Over 100 photos from this weekend's @WCPSS track & field championship at Athens Drive: http://t.co/x8xYMnmCBX
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 12:01 PM
  27. HighSchoolOT: STORY: Southeast Raleigh's boys edged Garner to win the @WCPSS track & field championship: http://t.co/npHjeVyMgG
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 12:00 PM
  28. HighSchoolOT: STORY: Wakefield's girls took the @WCPSS track & field championship this weekend: http://t.co/GEpiNkWmfE
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 11:59 AM
  29. HighSchoolOT: Wednesday night at 8:00 PM on http://t.co/9qqseesaE4 -- We're releasing the schedule for the #HSOTJamboree. Be sure to watch!
      — Monday, April 14, 2014 11:55 AM
  30. HighSchoolOT: Garner's Hines fueled by sibling rivalry http://t.co/rVaX3OgSS3
      — Sunday, April 13, 2014 6:24 PM
  31. HighSchoolOT: Everybody knows Nyheim Hines, the football star. Here's the story of @TheNyNy2, the brother (Via @ZachMayoHSOT). http://t.co/VIiGp40uoi
      — Sunday, April 13, 2014 5:45 PM
  32. HighSchoolOT: Don't forget to view all our photos from yesterday's Wake County Track & Field Championships: http://t.co/Vb1bXOtWNf http://t.co/Y4gwB30h1o
      — Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:01 PM
  33. HighSchoolOT: Garner gave them a run, but the SE Raleigh Bulldogs won the Wake Co. boys' track championship yesterday. STORY: http://t.co/qd8kRkhIKB
      — Sunday, April 13, 2014 8:45 AM
  34. HighSchoolOT: Just 4.4 points separated first and second place in the Wake County girls' track championship yesterday. STORY: http://t.co/h0MXcQ7FA8
      — Sunday, April 13, 2014 8:30 AM
  35. HighSchoolOT: Southeast Raleigh won the Wake County Track & Field Championship today. Here's how the team did it: http://t.co/npHjeVyMgG
      — Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:10 PM
  36. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Today's track championship was all about family and "twin power" for two athletes. Look for that story tomorrow on
      — Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:03 PM
  37. HighSchoolOT: Southeast Raleigh tops Garner to win Wake track championship http://t.co/VZo9dAGAj6
      — Saturday, April 12, 2014 9:58 PM
  38. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: 108 more images like this one from the @WCPSS track meet today. Here's the gallery: http://t.co/4pLQ0NlkqQ
      — Saturday, April 12, 2014 9:27 PM
  39. HighSchoolOT: Wakefield girls take first in Wake County track championship http://t.co/d8YY6uiGvV
      — Saturday, April 12, 2014 8:32 PM
  40. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Rundown of the Wakefield girls' track & field championship win today: http://t.co/1buwF1BCaT
      — Saturday, April 12, 2014 8:23 PM
HighSchoolOT Forums
More HighSchoolOT Forums