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Smithfield, Surry football teams fall in regional playoffs

The 2021 season came to an end for Smithfield High School and Surry County High School’s varsity football teams last week in their respective regional playoff games.

The No. 8-seeded Packers traveled to No. 1 King’s Fork High School for a Region 4A quarterfinal game that was moved up to Thursday, Nov. 11, to avoid potential inclement weather Friday. Smithfield struggled against the 8-1 Bulldogs and ultimately lost 42-0.

“The first half of the game we played well (but) couldn’t capitalize in the red zone before halftime, which killed a lot of momentum for us,” Packers Head Coach Devondre Bazemore said. “Coming out of the half, we had a fumble that led to another score from KF. We turned the ball over too much, resulting in scores for King’s Fork.”

Smithfield finished the year with an overall record of 3-7.

“This season we were still affected by COVID with the short offseason,” Bazemore said. “I’ll remember this (season) as growth. There were a lot of things our staff and players can grow from after this year. Also, it was our first time in the playoffs in three seasons.”

No. 6-seeded Surry traveled to Victoria to face No. 3 Central Lunenburg High School (7-2) on Friday in the first round of the Region 1B playoffs. The Cougars also struggled and fell 57-14.

Surry finished the regular season at 5-5 and, including the playoff game, ended up at 5-6 overall.

“It was good for us to make the playoffs, and it was good for us from the standpoint of moving forward within the program,” Cougars Head Coach Zach Orlando said.

He said he thought the year went well overall for Surry.

“We really didn’t play our best football until probably the last (five) weeks of the season, which the funny part with that is, they were probably the best teams we had on our schedule all year,” he said.

He noted that the Cougars’ regular season win over Brunswick High School was big, because Brunswick ended up being a 5-2 team.

Going over the highlights of Surry’s year, Orlando said, “The big things were, it was the first homecoming week win in a lot of years. … It was the first time beating Park View and Franklin in a long time. It was the first time that they had had a 5-5 or better season since 2016. So all that kind of stuff, that was good, got the momentum going, got the community behind it.”

Though Surry loses eight seniors who all played substantive roles on a small roster, returning next season for his senior year will be quarterback Anthony Tynes, who had 29 total touchdowns this season.