GUTHRIE — With all eyes on Guthrie standout Kye Staley, running back Clayton Smith burst on the scene this season to provide a solid 1-2 running combination for the Bluejays. The duo has spearheaded an offense that is averaging 57.5 points per game while helping Guthrie to a 13-0 record heading into Friday night's Class 5A state championship game.
With the graduation of last year's starter, Kris King, running back appeared to be question mark heading into the 2007 season. Smith, with his tough, physical running style, erased all doubts and answered all questions. And that's exactly what those around the program expected. "I don't think it surprised anyone around here,” said Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins, whose team plays Bixby at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Owen Field for the Class 5A state championship. Watkins said coaches knew early on Clayton would be a feature back. "We knew (when Clayton was) in seventh grade Clayton would be a great back for us some day,” Watkins said. "He gets tougher as the game goes along.” "If we didn't have him, we'd lose a lot,” Staley said. Smith's production this season has been exactly what the junior expected from himself.
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Guthrie's Clayton Smith emerged at running back this season after the graduation of Kris King. by Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman archive