Share “High school football: Devion Smith's punt...”

High school football: Devion Smith's punt return for TD gives John Marshall win over Star Spencer

Smith hadn't returned a punt all season, but with 1:01 left to play, he pulled in the Star Spencer kick on one bounce at his own 33-yard line, slipped to his right and blazed down the sideline.
by Scott Wright Published: September 26, 2013

Smith wasn't the only one making big plays for the Bears (3-1 overall, 1-0 district). Keshawn Shells got them on the board in the second quarter with a 53-yard touchdown run, and sophomore quarterback Lenard Levingston had touchdown passes to Kaelon Love and Dez Jackson.

But even after Jackson's 29-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter, Star Spencer still led 20-19. The Bobcats (1-3, 0-1) ran as much time off the clock as possible before punting to Smith with just over a minute remaining.

Star's Jerome Smith rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Johnny Thornton rushed for a TD and returned an interception for a score. He also threw to Marshawn Reid II, who made a juggling catch on a two-point conversion that looked to be the deciding points until Smith's big return.

Though it's only Week 4, Thursday's victory could eventually play a big part in the district playoff race for the Bears, who were 0-10 a year ago. And there was some pride on the line, too.

“Last year, we lost to those guys, a blowout on our homecoming,” Smith said. “This year, to come out and win it and get to 3-1, it means a lot. It's just about team, dedication, persevering the whole time we were down. We just kept our heads up and kept playing.”