Tech-bound Roberts, Smithfield rout Southampton

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 30, 2007

COURTLAND—He slices and dices his way through defenses. But wait. There’s more! He also passes the ball!

Smithfield running back Dyrell Roberts was nearly a one-man show, rolling up 337 yards rushing, 48 yards passing scoring three touchdowns on the ground and two more through the air as the Packers cruised to a 52-12 win over Southampton Monday night in a Bay Rivers District football game.

The Smithfield victory was the first for the Packers over the Indians in 16 tries.

Roberts, who has already made a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech, is nearing 2,000 yards rushing. The Packers’ coaching staff got him the ball in several different ways. He received handoffs and pitchouts from quarterback Randall Privette, but he also lined up under center in the shotgun and appeared to just improvise, looking for a hole to squeeze through.

&uot;It’s something that has evolved during the course of the year. We hurt ourselves early on because we didn’t do that. We try to figure out some ways to move him around and give him the ball,&uot; said Chris Fraser, Smithfield head coach. &uot;We tried to use him as a wide receiver early, which is his best position, but teams triple-teamed him and we couldn’t get him open.&uot;

It took Smithfield less than two minutes to establish its offense, and the Packers did it through the air. On their first drive, Privette threw a pass to Ralph Williams, who broke tackles and raced 28 yards down to the 12. After a holding call, Privette hit Sterling Coker with a 19-yard pass in the end zone with 10:05 to play in the quarter.

Southampton took a three-and-out and Smithfield (6-3) scored again on its next drive. Amazingly, Roberts touched the ball on all 11 plays, including a 19-yard pass to Carl Jackson down to the Southampton 22. Five plays later, Roberts ran 2 yards for a score and a 12-0 Smithfield lead with 4 minutes to play in the quarter.

Perhaps Roberts’ most spectacular run came early in the second quarter. He took a handoff and raced 70 yards straight up the middle for a touchdown without a hand touching him.

The Packers scored again with 4:24 to play in the half when Privette threw a 14-yard touchdown strike to Jackson in the back of the end zone for a 25-0 halftime lead.

Meanwhile, the listless Southampton offense managed just 31 total yards in the first half, including seven yards on the ground.

The second half started with Southampton’s Leonard Peterson giving the Indians good field position with a kickoff return to the Smithfield 46. But two plays later, Southampton’s Sidney Rawls tossed a screen pass that was picked off by Bryant &uot;BJ&uot; Jones and run back 49 yards for a touchdown. Andrews Schiavone’s extra point kick made it 32-0.

The Indians (2-6) scored on their next two drives. The first score was set up by a freak kickoff return. Southampton’s Jamod Winborne was racing down the field with the kickoff but fumbled. The ball was kicked around and eventually recovered by an alert Al Young, who trailed the play. Young took it to the Smithfield 6. Three plays later Rawls hit Jermaine Whitley in the end zone.

Smithfield came right back and scored on a picture-perfect halfback option pass from Roberts to Cornell Jones Jr. that went 22 yards.

Rawls later scored on a 3-yard run at 3:22 of the third quarter to make it 39-12.

Rawls led the Southampton rushing attack with 59 yards on 16 carries. He also went 7-for-19 through the air for 100 yards.

Roberts stayed in the entire game to try to get closer to the 2,000-yard mark. He needs about 150 yards against York at home this Friday to break the plateau.

&uot;We’re trying to get him his yards because there have only been about five or six players in our area who have done that,&uot; Fraser said.

Southampton plays at Jamestown on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.