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Smith sets new standard for rushing in County

October 20, 2012
By JAMIE TRINA - Tribune Chronicle correspondent ( , Underthelights

CANFIELD - There was a King sighting in on Canfield Friday night. Not the King that took his talents elsewhere, but the young man who brought his talents to Howland High School.

In the Tigers' 31-17 victory over Canfield, senior running back De'Veon Smith entered the contest with 6,179 career rushing yards, needing only 156 yards to earn the all-time rushing title for Trumbull County. Smith did just that. He divided, conquered, and captured the throne in a 282-yard effort.

"I owe it all to my offensive line and wide receivers," Smith said. "The credit goes out to them. They earned it. The team earned it."

Over the last four years, Smith has been the individual that has carried the load for the Tigers backfield. After Friday's effort, Smith has 6,461 career yards with one regular season game left, and possibly a playoff appearance.

"(Success) has definitely been training, and watching my older brothers' film," Smith said. "I want to give a shout out to my older brothers (Lance and Dwight) for showing me the loops, and to my offensive line and wide receivers."

For a young man that has accomplished so much, including a full scholarship to Michigan, Howland coach, Dick Angle has taken to his star player's humbleness.

"I wish there was a fourth," Angle said of the last Smith brother. "He is a super back and a super teammate. I don't know of anybody in the state that has a better thing going for him. His best asset is his humility and great play. He never talks. He is just about helping his team win."

The victory did not come easy for Howland. Canfield managed to keep the rushing attack of Howland somewhat quiet in the first half, though Howland managed two big plays. The first of the big plays came on a 74-yard kickoff return by Christopher Maze following a Canfield field goal, and the second came on a 56-yard touchdown run from Smith.

"We controlled the ball, and didn't let Smith touch it a lot," Canfield coach Mike Pavlansky said. "I am proud of the whole effort in the first half with the exception of the two big plays."

The ball control was soon to be in the hands of Smith. On Howland's first drive of the second half, Smith toted the ball eight consecutive times on his way to a 6-yard touchdown run. The drive pounded the Canfield defense and lasted nearly 8 minutes.

The Tigers' ground assault continued to eat up the clock throughout the remainder of the contest, as well as the Canfield defense.

"We actually were trying to throw," Smith said of the first drive of the second half. "We saw that the tosses were working, and we stuck with what was working at that time."

What has worked for Howland for the past four years has been Smith. And hopefully Smith can carry Howland for a few more games.