The Owls lost their first round matchup against Brainerd in a game that saw both defenses step up a number of times and force a number of turnovers.
The first quarter saw the Owls make a little progress downfield, but they stalled out around mid field and were forced to punt. The Smith County defense was able to step it up multiple times and stop Brainerd’s drives as well.
The second quarter started off with turnovers by both sides, with Smith County able to get multiple fumble recoveries, including a fumble recovery at the Brainerd 34 yard line midway through the second quarter. The Owls were unable to get anything going, and their drive ended in a turnover on downs.
Smith County was able to intercept the ball to get the ball back just three plays later with a couple minutes left in the half, and went down and Salomon Rodriguez kicked a field goal with 1 second left to go into half time with a 3-0 lead.
Brainerd was able to score to start the second half after an interception set them up in great position, but missed the PAT to take a 6-3 lead just 4 minutes into the third quarter.
The Owls offense couldn’t get going to answer, but the defense was able to force some more turnovers and stop Brainerd’s offense from doing anything.
Smith County got their biggest turnover of the night with one minute left in the game to take over at the Brainerd 43 yard line, the Owls completed a pass on their first play of the drive and a targeting penalty on the play, and the Owls were able to move the ball up to the 10 and Rodriguez kicked a 27 yard field goal as time expired to send the Owls to overtime.
The Owls offense wasn’t able to get anything going on the first two plays of overtime, but on the third play Johnny Lyda was able roll out and connect with Caleb Crawford in the endzone for a touchdown, Rodriguez hit the extra point to give the Owls a 13-6 lead.
The Brainerd offensive drive saw them get a 6 yard rush on the second play, which set them up for a 4 yard touchdown rush on the next play. Brainerd decided to go for two, and they ran it in to take a 14-13 lead and win the game, knocking the Owls out of the playoffs.