By William Smith
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Despite a mucky field, wet conditions, and a myriad of questionable penalties, the Warriors are officially “off the schnide,” winning their first game of the year 28-7 thanks to another solid performance by senior wide receiver Timothy Burrus against the Eagles of Oak Hall.
There’s no denying that Burrus is the straw that stirs Aucilla’s drink offensively. The diminutive pocket rocket features a game-breaking penchant for making seminal splash plays that are the leading cause of indigestion in defensive coordinators who scheme against the Warriors. Clearly, Eagle coaches’ had indeed dealt with a case of nausea concerning Burrus’ big-play ability, as Oak Hall cornerbacks afforded a healthy 10 yard chunk of vacant real estate to the senior in hopes of mitigating the risk of regular deep passes from Aucilla quarterbacks.
It was of little value, however, as Burrus still had an impressive performance, hauling in nine catches for 125 yards and one touchdown. Factoring in last week’s stat line from the loss to Branford, Burrus is averaging a blistering 11 catches, 175+ receiving yards and two touchdowns per game.
Of supreme importance to the Warrior offence this week was the roulette-style search for a power back capable of pounding defenses into submission to open up play-action passes from head coach Colby Roberts’ pro-style game plan against Oak Hall. Fortunately, it looks as though Roberts’ has finally struck gold in the form of gunslinger quarterback Wesley Smyrnios.
Smyrnios had contributed as half of a two-quartertback system along with Austin Bishop that showcased each player’s unique talents, but Friday evening in Gainesville, the senior ran with reckless abandon en route to a 77-yard tally that included several shattering collisions that Roberts later took pleasure in.
“It was definitely a relief to see someone filling that role in our offence,” said Roberts. “As long as I’ve been the head coach here, we’ve always had a reliable guy in whose hand to put the ball when the chips are down. That guy who can get the tough yards when we need them. Smyrnios was that for us tonight.”
If Smyrnios can continue to provide that physical presence that had been lacking in last week’s loss, this Warrior team could continue rolling through its schedule, according to Roberts: “I have confidence that if Wesley can keep defenses honest, then we can be the football team that we all expected to be when the season began. Time will tell, however.”
Aucilla is in the midst of a three-game road stretch that will take them to St. Augustine this Friday to challenge St. Joseph Academy. The Flashes are currently 1-1, having beaten Munroe 33-14 to open the season but suffering a drubbing at the hands of Bronson last week, 50-0. Most recently, the Warriors defeated St. Joe in a thrilling 24-20 game last year at home.