Saks attack gets it done for unbeaten Wildcats
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Nov 18, 2013 | 2500 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Saks Davontae Young follows the block of Monty Young in first round action of the high school football playoffs Friday Saks. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Saks Davontae Young follows the block of Monty Young in first round action of the high school football playoffs Friday Saks. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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SAKS – It didn’t take long for Saks quarterback Tre Smith to realize the Wildcats' offense was going to put up a lot of points this fall.

It happened in May when Saks faced Class 3A, Region 5 opponent Weaver in the Calhoun County Gridiron Showcase. The Wildcats' attack shined in 36-12, as the two varsities played only three quarters.

Those 36 actually would tie for the fewest amount of points Saks has scored this season. That total came last Friday night against Lauderdale County in 36-21 win.

As Saks (12-0) prepares to visit Colbert County (11-1) in the Class 3A state quarterfinals Friday, the Wildcats are averaging 46.2 points a game. They already have set the school record with 554 points this season, passing the old mark of 338, which the 1996 team scored in 15 games.

“We didn’t really think about scoring the most points in school history or anything like that,” Saks coach Jonathan Miller said. “We thought we had a chance to have a solid season. I knew we were better than our team last season. We didn’t put a win total or anything on it, but we knew we were better. We just wanted to keep working hard, getting better and grinding every day in practice.”

The biggest differences from this season and last season are players being a year older and Smith moving from wide receiver to quarterback. With quick and fast Smith taking the snaps, Miller saw an opportunity to take advantage of Saks’ speed and increase the tempo of the game.

“During the summer, we really prepared for it. We had some tough summer workout sessions,” Miller said. “We pushed them harder than we’ve ever pushed them before. We practice like we play as far as tempo, so they’re still getting a workout.”

Even now, offensive lineman Alex Foster said it’s easy to lose your breath while sprinting to the new line of scrimmage after Saks picks up a long first down.

“You have to finish your block, make sure that guy doesn’t make the tackle and then run down the field with the backs,” Foster said. “It’s pretty hard sometimes.”

Smith showed immediately he could produce. In the 37-14 win over Wellborn to open the season, Smith passed for 73 yards, rushed for 79 and scored three touchdowns.

Since defeating then-No. 2 Piedmont 40-15 to win the Region 5 crown in mid-October, the Wildcats have averaged 51.0 points a game over the last four weeks. Earlier in the season, Saks also tied a school record by scoring 63 points, which came in a 63-20 win over Ashville.

“We’re getting better and are putting in more plays to choose from,” Smith said. “But we could always execute better.”

The running game has given Saks reason to cheer this season, and it has plenty of depth. Davontae Young already has more than 1,000 rushing yards this season. Smith is about 100 yards behind him.

Calvin Figueroa and Devin Harris each have topped 650 yards.

“You’ve got Davontae and Calvin who are very good running between the tackles,” Miller said. “You’ve got Tre and Devin who can run inside and out, both having good speed and getting the corner when they want to.

“You’ve got to try to stop what we do, not one person.”

Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star

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