Late in the season Smith Center achieved national notoriety when it scored 72 points in the first quarter of their game against arch-rival Plainville, breaking a record that dates back to 1925. Even though Coach Barta took out his starting offense after its third touchdown, his freshmen took advantage of six Plainville turnovers, generally scoring one or two plays later. The coaching staff instructed those freshmen to run out of bounds or slow down so they could get tackled but kids being kids, who doesn’t want to romp for a touchdown? It’s the stuff that dreams are made of! What ninth grader is going to try to go slow? Herding cats would be easier.
By the second quarter, Barta got a running clock instituted and the team attempted their first field goals of the entire season (on first downs), making 2 out of 5. The final score was 83-0.
Smith Center totally dominated their opponents this year. The twelve seniors on the team haven’t lost a high school football game, won four straight state championships and achieved a record of 54-0 during their four year careers. The best example of this dominance was illustrated in a story from a game early in the year, when a member of the other team made a late hit on one of the Redmen of Smith Center. Another player from that team immediately grabbed the offending player by the face mask and screamed at the top of his lungs, “What are you doing! They are beating us 90 to nuthin’ and we don’t want to make ‘em mad too!”
Smith Center runs a wishbone offense, hard to master but run with such precision that there are only six plays in their playbook. They run three of those to the left and then three of them to right. They averaged 11.8 yards per play and needed to punt only once during the entire season. They averaged less than two passes per game.
Here are some other stats from their incredible season: They’ve averaged 419 yards rushing per game, outgaining opponents by more than 4,300 yards. The Redmen allowed 43 pass completions in 158 attempts (27% success ratio), had 20 interceptions and 21 fumble recoveries, giving them a staggering plus-38 turnover margin. They allowed an average of 87.6 yards/game with 50.9 yards rushing and 36.6 passing. The team’s defense allowed three touchdowns all year long but scored six themselves. They punted once the entire season but had to kick off 115 times, an average of 10 per game. They scored six touchdowns on punts and kickoffs but allowed only 8.7 yards per kickoff return for their opponents.
It’s an incredible story that will live in Kansas football lore for a long, long time.